Hampshire County Council is set to install new ‘no overnight parking’ signs at Barton clifftop.
It follows complaints of overnight ‘antisocial behaviour’ by motorhome and campervan owners, according to local media reports.
In a letter to a resident seen by the Advertiser and Times, the parking services team manager said: “You will shortly see signs along the seafront, at the west end of Marine Drive that will say ‘no overnight parking’.
“These are an interim solution that will hopefully see an immediate effect. These signs will not have a Traffic Regulation Order so are not enforceable, but will hopefully deter some of this parking.
“The long-term plan is to have a scheme in place before the summer of 2024.”
The letter was sent in response to complaints by the resident over motor home occupants “smoking cannabis, urinating in buckets and then throwing their urine on the cliff top the next morning, and emptying their waste water onto the road”.
“This weekend, there must have been at least 20 vans parked overnight along Marine Drive East,” he said.
“As residents we shouldn’t have to put up with this antisocial behaviour. Promises that the police and NFDC will be doing regular patrols are a complete and utter farce.
“Last night I saw a police car, the first for a very long time, drive along the clifftop around 6pm. That’s no good – someone needs to be here late at night turfing the campers out when it’s obvious who is doing what.
“The bottom line is that I am sure you, along with all your colleagues at HCC, NFDC and Hampshire police, would hate it if this happened right outside your house and would expect this behaviour to be sorted out once and for all.
“We pay a lot for our council tax and we expect a resolution.”
The manager said HCC is “committed to introduce parking controls in the future”, and as a first step in the process had “undertaken surveys of the existing situation”.
“This will enable us to identify options and engage with the local town council and county councillor to select a suitable proposal to take forward for wider consultation,” he continued.
“Any signs and markings that restrict parking need to be backed up with a Traffic Regulation Order, and this process includes a period of formal consultation.
“It is important that the correct processes are followed to ensure that any new parking controls are appropriate, legally enforceable and do not merely transfer problems to nearby areas.
“If you feel intimidated by people parked outside your property, then the police can visit and talk to the van owners.”
New Milton Town Council said it had not yet been consulted on the county council’s proposals, and as such was “unable to discuss or consider the matter presently”.
As an enthusiastic motorhomer I am intrigued and upset by the ongoing saga about motorhomers parking at Barton clifftop. This is not just a local issue but a national one, which is why CAMPrA UK was set up.
Sadly in any group there will always be one or two who spoil it for others by abusing the environment, but 99.9% of motorhomers are caring, law-abiding people who respect and cherish the world they live in. Most motorhomes are self-contained with all facilities on board.
What is needed is not so much unenforceable signs, but facilities to enable overnighters. There are a considerable number of car parks along Barton and Milford clifftops, where it would be very simple to allocate a number of motorhome spaces for overnight use – for a fee. £10 a night to stay over. By using the car parks this way would encourage motorhomers away from roadside parking and provide a viable alternative. The local businesses will gain from the visitors this would enable, and the local authority would gain from the fees generated. A win-win all round surely?
With public toilet blocks already in place, why not add chemical waste disposal points and water supply points for them too? If need be, these can be chargeable as many are on the Continent. CAMPrA UK can help with establishing all this as they have in other parts of the UK.
With over 400,000 motorhomes in the UK – that’s approaching a million voters – their needs must be considered. Let’s get the New Forest to lead the way in accommodating, not ignoring, this opportunity.Mark Phillips of Brockenhurst in a letter published by Advertiser and Times.