New Falmouth seafront parking restrictions, which apply between midnight and 6am, are to be introduced to tackle the “problem of roadside van dwellers”.
It follows a consultation which was launched in November by Cornwall Council after concerns were raised about overnight parking along seafront roads.
Cornwall Council received 602 responses to the consultation proposals, with 79 per cent of respondents in support of parking restrictions.
In its decision notice Cornwall Council said: “There was a consistent feeling that the current situation was creating an unpleasant atmosphere, where people felt uncomfortable walking along the sea front, especially in the evening.
“Several comments highlighted issues in terms of ‘camping out’ on the footway, with benches, chairs, washing etc. The main concerns from objectors were the potential of displacement parking and the impact on ‘van dwellers’, especially during the current housing crisis in Cornwall.”
The new parking restrictions are expected to come into effect later this month.
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The new restrictions are ‘no overnight parking midnight to 6am’ on Cliff Road sections between Gyllyngvase Road and Castle Drive; Queen Mary Road west side between Queen Mary Court and Cliff Road.
There will also be a ‘no waiting, midnight-6am’ restriction on Boscawen Road between No. 10 and Pennance Road; Cliff Road sections between Boscawen Road and Castle Drive; Swanpool Road sections north of Swanpool Beach.
The ‘Falmouth Van Working Group’ had been exploring the reasons and impact of overnight parking in and around Falmouth’s sea front area.
The group made up of residents, business representatives, van dwellers and council officers worked with The University Exeter to better understand the reasons why people stay in vans and choose Falmouth to stay.
Local councillor Laurie Magowan said: “I believe the benefits of introducing overnight parking restrictions, outweigh the negatives.
“Overall, there will be limited impact to people who choose to park in these areas, but it will discourage any vehicle staying overnight and remaining in the same spot for multiple days at a time.
“There has been an increase in vehicles doing this, with some negative impact on public access on the roads, footpaths and access to the sea front.
“I feel that in left unchecked, the number of overnight vehicles residing on the seafront will continue to increase, causing further impact on one of the most beautiful and used areas of our town.”
He said he was aware of the concerns the introduction of restrictions may have on some residents and people who live in vans.
“The wider social impact of introducing parking restrictions has been at the forefront of our community engagement work over the last fifteen months.
“I commit to continuing discussions with key stakeholders to identify alternative sites and arrangements for long term van dwellers, local students and holiday makers who want to visit Falmouth in their vans, to find sustainable solutions for the varying needs of each group.”