A PARISH council is doing everything within its power to stop a village hall from becoming a Covid testing centre, it has been claimed.

Hartlebury Parish Council has been accused of stopping the hall from being used for “health and safety reasons” due to potholes on its car park.

The car park, which is owned by the parish council and was refurbished alongside the village hall almost two years ago, closed in September last year because of the potholes with concrete blocks put in place to stop cars entering and exiting.

County councillor Peter Tomlinson, who represents Hartlebury, said he had hoped common sense would prevail but nearly six months later the car park remains closed despite promises from the parish council at two separate meetings that the problem would be fixed.

“The hall fulfils all the criteria necessary, and more, to meet this need, except for the car park.

“The parish council own the car park and therefore have the responsibility to maintain it and despite agreeing at two parish meetings to get the perceived problem fixed, did nothing.

“If the car park is not opened Hartlebury will not get the testing centre, denying the nearly 3,500 residents the chance to get tested on their doorstep.

“Against this background, the chance of the testing centre and possible litigation which could follow the breach of planning conditions, any sensible person would agree to get the blocks removed but no.

“Every time the parish council seem to have an answer to every reasonable question posed.”

Wychavon District Council has said it will be serving the parish council with a breach of condition notice because of the unnecessary closure of the car park.

The council said its investigation found that the village hall’s car park was not in such a bad condition that it needed to close.

Cllr Tony Rowley, executive board member for planning at Wychavon District Council, said: “We take all breaches of planning control extremely seriously and intend to proceed with issuing a formal breach of condition notice.

“However, we still hope the matter can be resolved amicably without the need for further formal action.”

Hartlebury Parish Council did not respond to a request for comment.