Ross Poldark would not be victorious with all his swashbuckling.

The residents of an unspoiled Cornish village are at daggers drawn with the businessman who bought their harbour – after he began issuing hundreds of £100 fines for parking outside their homes.

Charlestown is a small town near St Austell where Truro was portrayed in BBC’s drama Poldark. Residents claim that their lives were ruined by Rolf Munding installing a parking camera. Many are now facing hundreds of pounds of penalties.

Munding claimed that he turned to an automatic numberplate identification (ANPR camera) to recover the money residents were refusing to pay for maintenance of the private road running around the harbour. 

He recruited the firm Smart Parking, which issues cars parked on Quay Road with £100 penalty notices.

Residents of Charlestown, near St Austell, which stood in for Truro in the BBC drama Poldark, claim their lives have been blighted since landowner Rolf Munding installed a parking camera, leaving many facing hundreds of pounds in penalties. Dave Nicklin (pictured), 70, chairman of the residents' association, said that since the camera went up in September, one household alone has received 50 penalty notices

Charlestown residents near St Austell claim that their lives were ruined by Rolf Munding’s parking camera installation. Many are now facing several hundred pounds in fines. Chair of the resident’s association Dave Nicklin (pictured), 70-year-old, claimed that 50 penalty notices have been sent to one house since September.

Mr Munding says he resorted to the automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) camera to recoup money he claims residents refused to pay for the upkeep of the private road that runs around the harbour. He recruited the firm Smart Parking, which issues cars parked on Quay Road with £100 penalty notices. (Above, some of the homes - background, to the left - affected by the furore)

Munding claims he used the ANPR camera for automatic numberplate recognition to recover money that he claimed residents had refused to pay to maintain the private road around the harbour. He recruited the firm Smart Parking, which issues cars parked on Quay Road with £100 penalty notices. (Seen above, some homes in background; left is the area that was affected by the furore.

Furious locals complain they have also been hit with fines for simply driving around the harbour – a claim Mr Munding denies.

They claim they are entitled to use Quay Street, and so do their visitors. Tradesmen and tourists cannot pay to park on this road, they claim.

The residents’ association appealed on behalf of many locals against the fines. This led to an ugly stand-off.

Munding was accused by homeowners of setting up a parking lot ‘without any way to pay’. 

One person said, “He purchased the harbor a few years back and tried to run roughshod über planning laws and locals.

He decided to place an ANPR Camera over the Harbour and Road, over which both residents and homeowners have a legal rights of way and also the right to park.

“Immediately people started receiving tickets, regardless of whether they are residents or not. 

As well as the modern Poldark drama (above, starring Aidan Turner), Charlestown featured in the original series in the Seventies

Charlestown also appeared in the Seventies series, in addition to the Poldark drama above, starring Aidan Turner

‘He has turned the road into a big car park and there’s no way to pay when you get there – apart from fines. It’s a bizarre situation. It is a bizarre situation. He thinks that he has the upper hand over all the other locals.

Dave Nicklin 70, the chairman of the residents’ association said that one household has received 50 penalty notices since the camera was installed in September.

Retired company director Mr Nicklin said that the camera captured people entering and exiting their houses. But it also captures tradesmen, friends and family – everyone who comes to your house is fined. 

“He declared the area a parking lot without informing anyone. Residents have the right to drive and park as per their deeds.

It is all about control, and whether he wants to make the road a source of profit instead of a liability.

‘The simple way to do that is stick a camera up and fine people £100. Don’t worry about the minutiae of other people’s lives. Just focus on the bigger picture and making money. Yesterday, I received four fines.

Munding claimed that the camera was installed because it was the simplest and least controversial method to restrict access to his land.

He stated that Smart Parking had made it easy for residents to register vehicles to avoid penalties.

Charlestown Harbour residents retorted, claiming that Smart Parking was unable to assist them and that visitors had to still pay.

They claim that they seek legal advice in order to challenge the court’s installation of the camera.

Charlestown Harbour Limited is owned by Mr Munding. He said that it had been reasonable and added: “We have tried to approach this long-standing problem with common sense. 

Those living in the 50 or so homes around Charlestown Harbour say their efforts to work with Smart Parking had been stymied and visitors were still forced to pay. They say they are seeking legal advice and could fight the installation of the camera in court

Residents in 50 homes near Charlestown Harbour claimed that Smart Parking has resisted their attempts and that visitors still had to pay. The residents of Charlestown Harbour claim they have sought legal counsel and may challenge the installation in court.

“The intended effect of our efforts is stop people who don’t have the right to use our road network from using it, and share with them appropriately the maintenance cost. 

Munding serves as a director at 14 companies that range from craft brewing and dormant clothing businesses.

Charlestown on the South Cornwall Coast is a late Georgian working port. Built between 1791-1801 to import copper and coal, it was constructed in 1801. This location was featured in both the Seventies series and the Poldark modern drama.

The Mail exposed the brutality of some parking agencies. 

Some 1.95million drivers received parking fines in the first quarter of this financial year, meaning private firms demanded up to £195million in three months.

The proposed law would establish a code for practice in the sector, one appeals service and additional charges and fines in line with council levies.

Smart Parking didn’t respond to our request for comment.