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Norfolk coast beauty spot to ban overnight parking

Campervans and motorhomes are set to be banned from parking overnight at a popular beauty spot on the Norfolk coast.

It comes following a reported ‘surge’ in the numbers of motor caravanners staying overnight on Beach Road in Salthouse.

Locals say there have been growing problems with chemical toilets being emptied onto the verges and ditches that line the route.

Carey Clark, from Salthouse Parish Council, said: “The issue of people parking their campervans and motorhomes on Beach Road has become an increasing problem.

“There have been a number of reports of people littering and lighting fires there, but, even worse, emptying their chemical toilets into the ditches after they have stayed overnight.

“The marshes around the roads are a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with national importance for birds, coastal plants and biodiversity, and so of course people want to enjoy this beautiful area.

“But we are concerned about the impact of overnight campervans and motorhomes and are in favour of anything that can be done to limit this.”

Beach Road from the A149 snakes across the salt marsh and down to the seafront.

It is in part of the county designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a haven for wildlife.

The road previously led to a car park, but this was buried beneath thousands of pebbles by the 2013 tidal surge, encouraging more people to park on the verges.

The parish council raised its concerns about the antisocial activities of motor caravanners with the county council, which is now in the process of bringing in a traffic regulation order to stop overnight stays.

County Hall officers said that while a handful of motor caravans used to occasionally park in the road overnight, the numbers have recently shot up.

In a report, they said: “This leads to an increase in refuse and emptying of portable toilets or similar into the road, which causes danger to other road users.”

The order would make it an offence for motor caravans to be parked on either side of the 450 metre-long road from 6.30pm to 8.30am on any day of the week.

Anyone caught doing so will face a penalty notice or fine.

A council spokesman said: “Over the past year, the number of motorhomes parking overnight along Beach Road has grown considerably, with the volume of vehicles and their impact now creating dangers for road users.

“After concerns were raised by Salthouse Parish Council, we’ve spoken with our partners at the parish and district councils, as well as Norfolk police, and are proposing this order as a way of addressing the issue.”

Conservative North Norfolk district councillor Victoria Holliday, whose coastal ward includes Salthouse, said: “I can quite understand why owners of campervans and motorhomes want to park at Beach Road, Salthouse, and the vast majority enjoy our beautiful countryside responsibly.

“However there have been incidences of emptying chemical toilets into roadside ditches, littering and fires after campervans and motorhomes have been staying overnight.

“Pollution and damage are harmful to the wildlife and special landscape we want everyone to enjoy.

“North Norfolk offers many excellent registered and certified camping and caravan sites with all necessary facilities, which are well suited for overnight stays. I would direct campervan and motorhome owners to these.”

Nikki Nichol, from the Caravan and Motorhome Club, said: “Behaviour such as that highlighted in this case is not acceptable and is rightly being called out as such.

“Sensitive and appropriate disposal of all waste is part of the code of behaviour required of all club members as a condition of their membership.”

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