Sleep deprived Lee-on-the-Solent residents call for overnight closure of car park after anti-social behaviour escalates
RESIDENTS are demanding the overnight closure of a car park because late-night nuisance behaviour is affecting ‘people’s mental and physical health’.
Residents living opposite Beach Road car park have reported air being rifles fired at their homes, urinating on public property, speeding and fights breaking out.
A key issue revolves around noise with exasperated residents unable to sleep due to the playing of loud music, revving of car engines and setting off of fireworks – all ‘until the early hours of the morning’.
One resident who, asked to remain anonymous over fears of retribution, said she left her job as a nurse practitioner due to sleep deprivation.
The situation led to residents forming the ASB Victims Action Group to lobby Gosport Borough Council to close the car park overnight. So far 119 residents have signed a petition calling for the car park to be closed.
Spokesman John White said: ‘During the first lockdown the car park was closed and all these problems stopped. However as soon as it reopened in June all hell let loose.
‘All we ask is that the council closes the car park from 10pm at night to allow people to sleep. As yet the council has failed to provide an explanation as to why they won’t close the car park at night.’
John cited police data which highlighted the car park as a ASB hotspot.
The situation has been acknowledged by Hampshire Constabulary.
A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of issues at the Beach Road car park relating to ASB and vehicle nuisance. In response to these reports officers have visited the car park on a number of occasions and engaged with people present.
‘Where necessary, individuals have been dispersed from the area. Officer attendance has, on occasion, also resulted in us identifying associated offences such as drug possession and drug driving, which have been dealt with by police and arrests have been made.’
Residents say the ongoing impact of sleep deprivation is having a detrimental impact on their quality of life.
One woman who asked to remain anonymous said: ‘Lack of sleep is one of the most harmful impacts on mental and physical health. The sleep deprivation in the summer is unbelievable. I’ve taken early retirement because of the impact on my life.’
The campaign is supported by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage who said: ‘The ASB taking place at the car park is taking a huge toll on the lives and wellbeing of local residents and I’m backing their calls for the car park to be closed overnight.’
The council said it has installed CCTV and speed bumps to ‘discourage inappropriate driving’ and increased car park patrols. It’s also considering installing lighting and number plate recognition.
The council spokesman added: ‘Where evidence is found of ASB, appropriate action is being taken. We’ve also offered to provide noise monitoring equipment to residents and have offered to plant hedges to reduce glare from headlights.
‘We can't close the car park at night because it has legitimate users who need to park there in the evenings and overnight. There would also be cost implications.’