Businessman buys pay council carpark, makes it free to use

Seafield carpark in Devon had a £3 charge before

A businessman in Devon has caused a stir after buying the lease on a car park and allowing people to park there for free.

Robert Braddick, 44, owns Braddicks Leisure Ltd, which owns several bars and restaurants in the small town of Westward Ho!,  a seaside village near Bideford in north Devon.

He purchased the lease on Seafield Car Park on the edge of Westward Ho! on Tuesday and announced the good news on his Facebook page: "With immediate effect I'm making it FREE, yes FREE for the community."

His post has since gone viral, prompting appearances on the BBC and other news outlets in the UK.

It sparked a wave of comments from delighted locals, with one woman commenting: "Fainted that you used the word 'free' - seriously well done Rob. No one ever does anything like that anymore and you can see by all the comments how it's appreciated - thank you x x."

Shaun Barnes, meanwhile said: "Bloody Epic fandabydodo! smile emoticon Robbie for the next PM! x"

The carpark had previously been run by the council, who placed a fee of £3 (€4) a day for parking.