Residents despair as nuisance-plagued Lee-on-the-Solent car park is set to stay open

A council insists on keeping a car park open overnight, despite reports of anti-social behaviour which residents say has destroyed their quality of life.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 5:04 pm
Speed bumps that were put into the Beach Road car park in Lee-on-the-Solent this year Picture: Fiona Callingham

The Beach Road Car Park (BRCP), on the south side of Marine Parade East, is a 182-space car park owned by Gosport Borough Council.

Neighbouring residents have reported excessive noise made by exhausts, music, shouting, drunkenness, littering, drivers performing ‘doughnuts’ or wheel spins, and alleged drug dealing.

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John White, spokesperson for ASB Victims Action Group - Beach Road Car Park. Picture: Sarah Standing (150421-6697)

The council could approve measures to mitigate anti-social behaviour (ASB) in a community board meeting next Wednesday, which include improved lighting in the car park, CCTV and planting a hedge to stop headlights from shining into residents’ windows.

In the report, the consequences for closing the car park overnight are described as ‘unjustifiable’ and ‘financially disproportionate’.

John White, spokesperson of the ASB Victims Action Group said: ‘The fact that they’re prepared to keep this car park open regardless of the quality of life that has been destroyed for residents just to save money makes a mockery.

‘In April this year, I witnessed antisocial behaviour as there were people driving around recklessly and headlights were being shone deliberately into residents property.

‘In October 2019, on a Thursday evening these yobbos realised that I was there quite frequently and they started to come towards my car, I realised I may be in a bit of trouble so decided to make a quick exit.

‘They actually followed me back to my house and the cars that were following me had no lights on, I was visibly shaking.

‘I had another person who’s not a member of the group who’s suffering from bowel cancer, he did say to me once that "at least when I'm in hospital I get a good night's sleep".’

The action group was formed after the activation of a Community Trigger, where victims of ASB can request a multi-agency review of their case.

The case review meeting was held on 17 December last year and an action plan to mitigate ASB was produced.

John added: ‘Last October there were 14 reports of ASB and that is confirmed in the report by the police, this October, there have been 27 reported incidents of ASB.

‘We activated the trigger last November because the problem was bad then, but those figures illustrate that the trigger review panel has not achieved their objective in trying to reduce the problem in fact it’s gotten worse.’

The report does not recommend closing the car park overnight for a number of reasons.

These include an increased risk in confrontation with council staff, displacing ASB to other car parks and an estimated cost of £34,000 per year.

It's also believed that the car park should be accessible to those who wish to use it ‘lawfully’ and ‘respectfully’.