THE regeneration of a Mapplewell church car park has been unveiled to allow additional parking on the village’s high street.

In negotiations which lasted three years between local ward councillors, Principal Towns and Barnsley Council, the car park at Staincross Methodist Church will now be accessible to shoppers in the area.

Coun Harry Spence, who represents the Darton East ward, has praised the work done in resurfacing the car park for community use.

“This has taken years of negotiations between different parties but I’m thrilled that the car park is finished and ready to go after a lot of hurdles.

“The congregation at the church have been wonderful in helping this along and hopefully the car park will benefit both the church and the local community.

“I know parking is a major problem in Mapplewell but I believe this will go a long way in easing the problem.”

Rev Claire Rawlinson, the minister at the church, said: “The congregation of Staincross Methodist Chapel are very grateful for the support we have received from Barnsley Council in resurfacing our car park as part of the Principal Towns initiative.

“It has made the car park much safer for the many church and community users.

“The car park is now available for use by the community although there will be some times when we need to restrict use for church purposes.”

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, added: “Following consultation as part of the Principal Towns scheme, the local community said that there was a lack of available car parking at Mapplewell high street.

“After considering options for creating additional space, we worked with Staincross Methodist Church to agree that the car park could be used by the public visiting the high street while ensuring the church had full use for their services.

“Now that the car park has been updated, it will be a real community asset, which will once again be able to hold community events in the future.

“Additionally, the shop front scheme has delivered improvements which has really given the high street area a vibrant new feel.”