During a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (December 8), members also approved the introduction of flexible three, five and six-day season tickets.
Stephen Hillier, cabinet member for economic growth, told the meeting that parking charges across the district were ‘considerably below those of our neighbours’.
The increases will see 25 per cent added to current tariffs from early next year at all long and short-stay town centre pay and display car parks.
This will add up to between 20p and £1.50 more per ticket, depending on how long the driver parks.
Parking for up to an hour will cost £1 rather than 80p, while parking for more than four hours in a short-stay car park will cost £7.50 rather than £6.
The charges will be reviewed annually.
Robert Eggleston (Lib Dem, Burgess Hill – Meeds) pointed out that the level of retail offered by Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead was not the same and suggested different charges for each town.
Describing the retail economy in Burgess Hill as ‘struggling’, he suggested the council should ‘try to make a difference by not imposing the same increase – or any increase at all – to reflect the fact that we’re still waiting on redevelopment of the town centre’.
It was a view reflected in advice from the council’s consultants.
But Mr Hillier said the increase was about ‘bringing the charging up to where it should be’ and he was confident that people would not be put off visiting the town just for the sake of an extra 20p or 30p.
As for the season tickets, Mr Hillier said the current offer ‘isn’t suitable’ and told the meeting that sales were down by some 42 per cent, losing the council around £80,000 of income.
The three-day tickets will only be available on a monthly basis – at a cost of £45 – allowing the user to park for a total of 12 days during the month.
The five-day and six-day tickets will be available annually, quarterly or monthly, for use Monday to Friday and Monday to Saturday respectively.