Nearly all plans for Sunday car parking charges may be dropped at least temporarily.
Dover District Council's cabinet will next Monday vote on whether to at least temporarily halt bringing in the new seven-day charges in 11 out of 12 car parks.
The new costs in four sites in Dover are to be held back following a decision by the owners of the new St James' development not to introduce Sunday charging at present.
In Deal the plans are only to go ahead for the Middle Street spaces but not for six others as planned. This follows concerns expressed during public consultation.
The charges are also scrapped at present for the Guildhall car park in Sandwich.
An officer's report for next week's meeting said: "Cabinet needs to try to strike a difficult balance between the use of charges as a mechanism to ensure that parking spaces are rotated rather then being full all day against the risk that the cost of parking dissuades residents and visitors alike from using town centre car parks and businesses."
The new costs had originally been voted for by the cabinet in January.
For Dover they were for the four nearest car parks to the new £53 million St James' leisure and retail development, Stembrook, Woolcomber Street, Bench Street and Townwall Street.
It was then expected that St James', which first opened on March 9, would impose seven-day charges.
The council was trying to prevent customers' car spilling over into their spaces to avoid having to pay.
Since then the new complex's owners and project funders, Legal & General, decided not to bring in seven-day payments at present but will keep this under review.
Council officers say that if St James' does later bringing these charges the authority should follow suit.
Commentators in a public consultation had express that churchgoers in Dover and Sandwich would be affected by the new charges. They added that the present two-hour time limit at Stembrook already affected worshipper using St Mary's Church so officers are also recommending extending the limit to four hours.
The Guildhall car park in Sandwich had been picked for seven-day fees because of an expected lost of 50 spaces due to the introduction of coach parking.
But officers now say this is is unlikely to go ahead so the need has been removed.
Those consulted also feared the new costs would also affect traders in that town.
In Deal the car parks that are now not expected to have week-long costs are South Street, Stanhope Road, the Town Hall, Sainsbury's St Ethelburga's and Park Street.
Surveys found that Middle Street was at 95% capacity on Sundays.
The council had originally wanted the charges for Deal because of a general high demand in the town at weekends.
But the officers' latest report said; "The comments received through the consultation have focused particularly on the perceived detrimental impact of the proposals on the independent retails within Deal."
The charges suspension will be discussed at the Dover District Council cabinet meeting from 11am next Monday at the authority's debating chamber at Honeywood Parkway, Whitfield.
Nearly 4,000 people had signed petitions by town councillors to save the free parking.
Ian Palmer, Dover town member, said of the proposed suspension: “It is fabulous news and a victory for common sense. I am glad that DDC has decided to listen to the wisdom of local businesses, the struggles of the traders and the people that love this town and want to see it succeed.”
Cllr Palmer gathered petition names, plus listened to traders' views, in Dover with fellow Labour member Charlotte Zosseder.
She said: "I am delighted that DDC has decided to listen to the people of Dover and Deal. Over 1,700 people signed the petition in Dover because it is such a huge concern.
"Free parking helps tourism, local businesses, church attendance and families to enjoy a nice day in Dover without the worry or cost of charges and parking wardens.
" When Ian and I carried out a survey of businesses they told us how much they thought parking would hurt the town. I am delighted the council has decided to listen, at last. This will be a big step towards rebuilding Dover's economy.”
Nick Tomaszewski, Deal Labour town councillor, condemned the fact that the Middle Street charges were still planned.
He said: ."I fail to understand the explanation why Tory run DDC has come to this decision.
" This is shameful and a disappointment for Deal's residents, visitors and traders who objected to DDC’s proposals to introduce the charges.
"Our campaign has been a partial victory having forced DDC to drop their proposed Sunday charges that nobody wanted. They should now drop the Middle Street Sunday. ones It is not too late. Deal Town Council voted against this disastrous proposal."