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For several years there has been official provision for motorhomes to stay overnight at the Beachlands West Beach Car Park on Hayling Island, however, in the Parking Charges Review Report discussed at the Cabinet meeting of Havant Borough Council on Wednesday 27th June 2018, the proposal to cease overnight parking for motorhomes in Beachlands car parks was made.
The Report contained the following statement:
"It is recognised and accepted that the current parking arrangements for motor homes at Beachlands is not wholly effective. This report proposes to cease overnight parking in Beachlands car parks. It is proposed to introduce an overnight ban for motorhomes between 22:00 hours and 06:00 hours. To ensure that this ban is effective, enforcement patrols will need to increase. Initially, increased regular enforcement will be delivered through vacancy savings within the team. It will be necessary however, to monitor this activity to establish if additional resources are required in the longer term. If additional Civil Enforcement Officers are recruited, this will have a negative impact on the overall budget situation."
The Draft Minutes of the Meeting record this decision:
"In supporting the proposal to cease overnight parking for motorhomes at Beachlands on health and safety grounds, a further concern was expressed about the Council’s liability as landowner during the statutory 28-day period for advertising the changes prior to implementation. Cabinet was advised that this risk would be mitigated in the interim through increased enforcement patrols and prominent signage to encourage safe parking of vehicles.
Councillor Bains recommended that Cabinet approve the proposals as drafted and that, as part of an ongoing review, demand be tested and further adjustments considered if appropriate. On this basis, Cabinet was minded to support the recommendations as set out in the report [..]".
We are, of course, very concerned by this decision, especially given the positive approaches to motorhome overnight parking provision being made by councils such as Exmouth Town Council, Fylde District Council, etc.
The overnight parking provision is very popular with motorhome and campervan visitors and brings increased income to local businesses all through the year.
Havant Borough Council have introduced an Experimental Traffic Order which comes into effect on August 10th 2018 and lasts for a period of 18 months, you can download a copy of the Order here: Havant Borough Council Traffic Regulation Orders There is information on the restrictions and how to comment on the Order.
We made an FOI request to Havant Borough Council for more details, including the evidence on which the proposal and decision was made. In response the Council sent a copy of the Fire Risk Assessment Report (you can download a copy here: Final_Fire_Safety_Report_BL.pdf ). We assume therefore that this report represents the sole grounds for the introduction of the Experimental Order.
If you wish to register your opposition to the ban please sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/havant-borough-council-no-ban-on-overnight-parking-on-west-beach-hayling-island (Petitions can be presented to a meeting of the council and if the petition has received 1500 signatures or more it will also be scheduled for a council debate).
A Facebook Group has been formed to discuss opposition to the ban: https://www.facebook.com/groups/221679428388353/
Following the meeting on 15/8/18 (see below) The council representatives have said they will commit to review the advice they have received to date on Fire Safety at West Beach as a matter of urgency – while they are reviewing the situation the ban will need to remain in place, they are committed to undertaking that review by the middle of September.
They will pull their internal resources together immediately to look at developments/ actions that they can undertake to make the site safe. James Hassett will chair that group going forward.
The petition raised to object to the ban is likely to be presented at the Council meeting on September 26th.
A meeting took place today (15/8/18) between representatives of the Facebook group set up to oppose the ban and the following representatives of Hayling Borough Council: James Hassett Executive Director (Operations and Place Shaping), Councillor Narinder Bains (Cabinet Lead for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Enforcement) and Natalie Meagher (Head of Neighbourhood Support).
We understand the Council are considering the views of those who oppose the ban and we hope to have more news soon.
Comments can now be made on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, see: https://www.havant.gov.uk/traffic-regulation-orders