Agenda item

Beach Road Car Park

To update the Board on the progress of the predetermined actions and the Community Trigger Action Plan for Beach Road Car Park. To obtain Board approval for the aforementioned actions yet to be completed and facilitate their implementation. To obtain a strategic decision on the locking of the car park due to the serious consequences involved.



Consideration was given to a report by the Head of Streetscene regarding the Beach Road Car Park.


The Board were advised there were no updates.


Mr White was invited to address the Board. He advised that the vast majority of Lee on the Solent residents chose to live there for its safe and low key resort atmosphere, and felt that the there was an element who take over the car park at night who were oblivious to people’s right to live in peace.


He felt that the car park was unsafe at night with accidents waiting to happen.


Mr. White said that assurances had been given in 2019 that the Policy & Organisation Board had approved the recruitment of additioanl officers to cover the locking of the car park and questioned why those assurances had not been honoured.


He advised that the closing of the car park previously during construction of the Splashpark, and during lockdown had provided respite from the problem.


Mr. White said that there had been incidents of air rifles being used to target properties but noted that these were not mentioned in the report.


Mr. White felt that the current CCTV provision was not fit for purpose, and that victims felt obliged to provide their own video footage. He also felt that noise monitoringdevices needed to be deployed in the car park, not just in in houses.


He felt that closing the toilets but not the car park was nonsense


Mr. White suggested that the 1.5m hedge proposed would not stop cars shining their headlights into the flats and wild grass or a bank would be more effective.


In conclusion, he advised that the MP and Police supported the closure of the car park, which in his opinion was the only way to make it safe.


In response to a Member’s question, Mr. White clarified that he was representing the AVAG-BRCP Action Group, not the Lee on the Solent Residents Association.


In response to a Member’s question Mr. White stated that although key personnel were not present at the Community Trigger meeting on 22 June 2021, members of the Action Group agreed to proceed with it.


In answer to a Members’ question Mr. White advised that it was not strictly true that residents had declined the use of noise monitoring equipment in their home, but had requested similar equipment be placed in the car park to correctly identify the vehicle playing the music.


Members wondered if the offered demonstration of noise monitoring equipment had taken place and how evidence of breach of noise would give substance to the complaints.


In response to a Member’s question, Mr. White advised that there had been 29 101 reports during October 2021 an increase on the previous October.


There were no further questions from Members to Mr.White


Members were advised by Officers that there had been over 100 complaints, but it was not possible to determine how many of the 200 residents had made complaints as many were left anonymously.


Officers advised Members that appendix C showed a summary of the complaints but did not necessarily refer to whether the noise was on the road or in the car park.


Members were advised that the speed humps had primarily been installed to improve safety for the traffic coming from the Splashpark, and whilst it may have worked to a degree, there were still areas where “donuts” were possible.


A Member advised that a PSPO had helped in another area of Gosport, but all measures other than closing were a gamble and would not deter those set on causing ASB. They felt an exit only option could deal with the legitimate parkers left in after closing.


Members were advised that toilets are opened and closed by a contractor, and on seasonally adjusted timings which may not suit the car park. The costs quoted were based on standard attendance fees, twice a day.


A Member stated that 700 annual permits are purchased, and there is a contractual requirement not to prevent access.


Officers advised that there are plans to create Motor Home bays in the car park which would prevent the creation of a separate exit.


Members expressed concern that residents were suffering unacceptable levels of ASB and appreciated the frustration felt by residents and commended Members and other agencies such as Community Safety for the efforts put in to date.


Members felt that every decision had financial implications and could become a significant expense if other residents sought to have other car parks closed in this manner, and may set a precedent.


Members acknowledged that demand for car parking might rise with the introduction of meters and more effective parking enforcement.


Members recognized that at present the car park was very dark at night and there was no capability for capture of registration numbers and felt that improved lighting and CCTV would likely lead to fixed fines.


Members acknowledged that the Lee Business Association and other community groups were working hard to bring events and visitors to the High Street in the evenings and wanted to encourage the use of public spaces rather than give in to a small disruptive group.


A Member felt it was a lot of money being spent on trying things that wouldn’t work and that the only answer was to close the car park.


RESOLVED: That the Board:


·         Noted the details of the implementation of the Action Plan and additions to the car park.

·         Approved the completion of the pre-arranged actions and Community Trigger Action Plan and delegated authority to the Head of Streetscene to implement

·         Agreed not to lock the car park at night.



Supporting documents: