A ROW has erupted between boaters and developers over parking spaces at a Pendle canal wharf.

Developer Thomas Randell bought the land and property at Foulridge Wharf from British Waterways at an auction.

As part of the agreement Mr Randell must provide five parking spaces for authorised canal users.

Boaters at the wharf believe the spaces should be free, but Mr Randell maintains he is able to charge motorists using the plots.

According to boaters, when the land belonged to British Waterways they were able to park in the spaces for free.

In addition, they believe Mr Randell is also under obligation to make five free spaces available.

One of the boaters, who asked not to be named, said they already paid £430 for water licences, which are similar to road tax certificates.

There is also an extra charge for a mooring license, which can cost thousands, depending on the size of the boat.

The boater said: “British Waterways told me there are five free spaces, but Mr Randell said even if they were free, he owns the access road, so he’ll charge us to use that. He’s just splitting hairs and has us running round in circles.

“We tell our friends from the village about the problems and they are gobsmacked.”

Mr Randell is currently undertaking a £650,000 develop-ment at the wharf, which includes a new cafe and restaurant.

He said he contacted British Waterways to ask if the spaces had to be free, but has not had a reply.

Subsequently, he said he has offered “competitive” rates of £12.50 a week for anytime parking to the boaters, but none have taken him up.

He added: “They have a contract with British Waterways and not me. We have a lease on the land, which we paid a considerable amount for.

“The spaces would be for all authroised canal users, which isn’t just the boaters – it can mean anyone going for a walk or a cruise.

According to the boater the offer of £12.50 a week is not cost effective for some of them as they only come once a month.

British Waterways was unavailable for comment.