CHURCHGOERS may get parking permits when Sunday charges are introduced.
Councillors have pledged to open talks with church officials after a storm of protest over the proposals.
Many members of Huddersfield Parish Church and others places of worship had complained that they would have to pay while at Sunday services when the flat-rate £1 levy comes in this summer.
But now Kirklees Council has promised to investigate a permit scheme.
Clr Martyn Bolt, the council's Cabinet member responsible for roads and parking, said today that Kirklees would discuss with churches their wish to have parking permits to allow free parking for a limited period when Sunday charges were introduced.
Clr Bolt said the parish church already had a number of passes allowing members free parking for a limited number of cars at other times of the week.
He said: "When Byram Street was pedestrianised a few years ago we agreed to issue the parish church with 15 worship parking permits for any worshipper to park in the Bryam Street permit area and four ceremonial vehicle permits for weddings, funerals and other ceremonies.
"The church controls the issue of these permits to worshippers.
"All the permits allow free parking and will continue to operate when the Sunday charges start in June."
Clr Bolt added: "The council looks sympathetically at requests from churches and worshippers of various faiths for parking concessions at times of worship.
"While each case is looked at with regard to individual merits we are more than happy to discuss introducing acceptable arrangements for parish church worshippers on a Sunday.
"While we will need to discuss it with the church I would envisage that the system will be very similar to Holmfirth, where Sunday charging has been in place for some years," said Clr Bolt.
"In Holmfirth the council issues worship permits to churches, allowing free parking for two to three hours between specified hours on Sunday mornings.
"It might well be useful for churches in town centres to join the local business organisation or association, as they are involved in discussions with the council on many issues, including parking arrangements."