Motor home owners set to take on Havant council's overnight parking ban on Hayling IslandÂ
CAMPAIGNERS will appear before a council in a bid to reverse its decision to bring an end to overnight parking at a seaside beauty spot.
It comes after more than 3,500 people signed a petition to overturn Havant Borough Council's (HBC) ban at the Beachlands West car park on Hayling Island.Â
The site was previously aÂ hotspot for motor home and camper van users from Hampshire and beyond,Â who couldÂ pay Â£15-a-night to stay there.Â
But because of the 18-month ban, made effective on August 13, petitioners claim they and local businesses could be set to take a hit over the next year-and-a-half.Â
Mother-of-two Miranda Diboll, who owns a Mazda Bongo camper van, created the petition in July and will oppose the ban before full council on Wednesday, from 5pm.Â
'˜I'veÂ visited Hayling Island a number of times this summer with my nine-year-old daughter and she has lovedÂ it,' said the 43-year-old from West Sussex.Â
'˜We stay overnight becauseÂ someÂ of us who travel from afarÂ don't necessarily want to drive back late.Â
'˜But this ban means we won't be able to visit as much, which isÂ sad for us, but also because I think some businesses nearbyÂ will notice a difference in their takings.
'˜And that won't just beÂ in the summer,Â the nature of our vehicles mean weÂ often stay there inÂ winter too.'Â
According toÂ HBC,Â the ban was brought in after fears aroseÂ from a fire safety assessment brought to a cabinet meeting in June.Â
The report found motor homes must be parked between four and six metres away from one another, which is allegedly '˜difficult to enforce' atÂ Beachlands West because there are no marked bays.Â
But Ms Diboll '“Â backed by fellow members of the Southern Bongo Group '“Â have dubbed the finding a '˜red herring'.Â
She said: '˜Owners take pride in their vehicles and they take pride in fire safety.Â This is no different to the factÂ that peopleÂ who have beach huts are able to cook inside as well.'
Ms Diboll saidÂ she and other campaigners will searchÂ for an '˜agreed resolution' with HBC.
In relation to the ban, known as an '˜experimental order',Â cabinet lead for neighbourhoods, safety and enforcement,Â Narinder Bains,Â said HBCÂ takes safety '˜extremely seriously'.
On what to expect at Wednesday's meeting, she said: '˜The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition at the meeting and the petition will then be discussed by councillors for a maximum of 15 minutes. The council will decide how to respond to the petition at this meeting.
'˜They may decide to take the action the petition requests, not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate, or to commission further investigation into the matter, for example by a relevant committee.'Â
She added: '˜If residents want to comment on [the ban]Â then a consultation is running from now until February 10,Â 2019 and comments can be made online.'Â
To make a comment on the consultation, copy and pasteÂ havant.gov.uk/traffic-regulation-orders into your web browser.Â
Ms Diboll's petition is available to view atÂ change.org/p/havant-borough-council-no-ban-on-overnight-parking-on-west-beach-hayling-island