Watford’s elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill has promised a consultation on plans to start charging for the car park at Cassiobury Park.

Mayor Thornhill said the introduction of paid parking would deter all-day commuters using the nearby Metropolitan tube station from taking up the spaces.

Proposals to introduce fees for the car park off Gade Avenue, are part of the £6.6 million revamp of the park's facilities.

Watford Observer:

Artist sketch of the community centre and new paddling pools.

News the Lottery Heritage Fund was giving £4.5 million towards the scheme this week means financial backing was secure for the programme of improvements.

The upgrade will include a new community centre with a café, exhibition room, , toilets and changing rooms for the paddling pools.

Additionally, the paddling pools are set to be refurbished, a new bandstand built in the park, the  entrances refurbished, and the historic 18th Century Lime Avenue restored.

Mayor Thornhill said: "A massive expansion of the parking area was not acceptable, but we felt that it was important the carpark be used by park users.

"Currently a lot of commuters use it as a free all-day car park when they are using the Met station. We have to resolve that situation with some sort of management of it.

"We have an idea the first hour could be free, but what people cannot do, is stay there all day without making a contribution. But these ideas are yet to be finalised."

Mayor Thornhill said the goal was to keep the car park for park users and having a free first hour would cater for visitors such as dog walkers.

A second consultation is also planned on what kind of events take place at Cassiobury Park.