Months of complaints lead to caravan parking solution

Some of the caravans, in Marine Drive last summer DM1507916a
Some of the caravans, in Marine Drive last summer DM1507916a

A ban on overnight parking of motor caravans at a popular seafront spot has been approved after months of complaints.

Residents were angered by continued used of Marine Drive and Marine Crescent for long-term parking, with the area advertised on social media as a free camping spot.

With reports of up to 30 camper vans parked at one time, county councillors decided to impose new restrictions to tackle the problem.

Councillor Steve Waight, of Goring division, said: “Neither I nor the residents of Goring are opposed to people camping in camper vans but we are opposed to them staying for weeks or months on end. One has gone on for years.

“If we were to do nothing the situation would get worse and worse.”

Mr Waight said the decision followed two and half years of complaints from residents, 68 of which registered representations of support for the plans.

But 32 letters of objection were received from as far as Glasgow, with some arguing the plans were ‘unjustified’ and ‘heavy-handed’.

Others said West Sussex County Council should take a ‘European approach’ to the issue and be more welcoming.

County officers, however, stressed it was ‘unlawful’ to camp on the highway.

The restriction will apply to the south side of the roads, between the junction of Marine Crescent and Sea Place in Goring and Marine Drive and Sea Lane in Ferring.

Worthing county local committee approved the plans on Thursday, while joint east Arun area committee councillors approved the Ferring part on Tuesday.

East Preston and Ferring county councillor Peter Evans said: “People are using it as cheap storage. It shouldn’t be a car park.”

The restriction will apply from 10pm and 9am and is expected to be implemented within two months. A traffic regulation order will enable the restrictions to be enforced.