Waverley Borough Council has admitted it is powerless to prevent Brightwells Yard construction vans from occupying public car parking spaces designed for the most vulnerable, least-mobile users of Farnham Leisure Centre.

There have been reports of arguments breaking out between Brightwells workers and Waverley Borough Council ticket wardens in the small 47-space car park to the rear of the leisure centre in Dogflud Way – with work vans regularly occupying spaces designed for centre users.

Waverley Borough Council was first made aware of the issue in July, and vowed to ask Brightwells developer Crest Nicholson to urge its workers to avoid the centre car park.

But this week the council admitted defeat, saying “there is nothing that we can do to actually prevent anyone from parking in the car park”.

This has been disputed by centre user Vic Cracknell, however, who said the council simply needs to hike the ‘all-day charge’ for parking in the leisure centre car park.

Waverley has previously said such a “complex” change would take around four to six months to implement.

But Mr Cracknell, who first complained about the issue in the summer, added: “It’s quite ridiculous that still the East Street development vans are taking spaces in the leisure centre car park, forcing gym users to park elsewhere. It really is a scandal and the developers and Waverley should be taken to task.”

A Waverley spokesman said: “We have repeatedly asked the developer, Crest, to encourage their workers and subcontractors to park in other locations and we understand they have communicated this to their employees and contractors.

“However, there is nothing that we can do to actually prevent anyone from parking in the car park next to the leisure centre.

“It is a public car park and anyone who pays the tariff can park there legally.

“We would like to remind all users of the leisure centre and visitors to central Farnham, that Riverside 2 and 3 car parks are also very close to the leisure centre and have the same tariff.”

A Crest Nicholson spokesman said: “Crest Nicholson has been encouraging contractors to use Riverside car park instead, and will continue to do so.

“However, given that the leisure centre car park is public, users are able to park there if they choose to and pay the correct parking charges.

“All reports of anti-social behaviour towards staff are investigated by Waverley Borough Council.

“Crest Nicholson takes such reports seriously and the one incident they have been made aware of resulted in the individual’s contract of employment being terminated.”