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Overnight parking ban proposed

PUBLISHED: 10:47 21 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 05 July 2010

Southwold promenade is best known for colourful beach huts and the elegant Victorian Pier, but the motor homes which park overnight along seafront are quickly becoming the talk of the town.

Southwold promenade is best known for colourful beach huts and the elegant Victorian Pier, but the motor homes which park overnight along seafront are quickly becoming the talk of the town.

Caravan and campervan owners could soon be prevented from parking overnight on the seafront if Southwold Town Council can get a by-law put in place to stop them.

There is already a by-law forbidding people from staying overnight in vehicles parked on the town's common and now the town council wants Waveney District Council to extend the regulations to the promenade.

Earlier this year, motor home owners were banned from parking on the sea wall at the nearby resort of Aldeburgh after fears were raised about the damage being caused to the wall and residents complained about litter and congestion.

The by-laws in Aldeburgh have already had an effect and only nine vehicles have breached the order since it was put in place by Suffolk Coastal District Council on August 1.

At a meeting of Southwold's policy and finance committee, chairman Michael Ladd said: “We consider this to be a growing problem and it could get worse if we don't tackle it now.”

Town councillor Sue Allen said: “I don't think anybody living on the seafront should have to put up with it. We've got to be strong on this and say we want Waveney to look at this and sort it out.”

The committee agreed to ask Waveney to look at the cost and process involved in getting a by-law put in place.

Melanie Tucker said: “There are already by-laws relating to no over-night camping on the common which don't get enforced and I'm just concerned that if we go for another by-law then we're going to be in a similar position.

“There are arguments about these being difficult to enforce, but it doesn't seem satisfactory at all that we have these rules and don't enforce them.”

A Waveney District Council spokesman said: “Southwold Town Council has recently asked if vehicles can be prohibited from making overnight stays on the promenade, in a similar way to Southwold Common.

“The highway is under the jurisdiction of Suffolk County Council and we currently have no authority to gain such a traffic road order. Even if Waveney District Council were to obtain delegated authority to act in this matter, this is not a simple or inexpensive process.

“It would require formal approval of the county council before we could proceed and would also need agreement on enforcement, relevant signage and would have to go through statutory consultation.”

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