A decision by Budgens to restrict car parking to customers-only has prompted Newent Town council to seek a "friendly" agreement with management.

Signs went up before Christmas telling motorists of the decision. In response, local councillors contacted Forest of Dean District Council to see if the ban was within the spirit of planning agreements for the supermarket.

Mayor Fred Passant said an agreement drawn up at the time of planning consent only allowed for 'six passes for residential parking, but did not include parking for town centre shoppers'.

"There's nothing we can do except protest that this is not very Newent-friend-ly," he said.

Coun David Blick said he understood there would be free parking on the Budgens' site "24 hours of the day" for local people.

Budgens is restricting parking on its site to two hours only, and then only for its own customers.

Councillors agreed the supermarket had been an asset to the town and Coun Passant stressed the need for discussions leading to "a friendly agreement".

Budgens' manager, Paul Smart, said he would welcome an approach from the council, but declined to comment further.