Wednesday 19th December 2018,
North Yorks Enquirer

NYCC: A Sea-View In Pitch Darkness

NYCC: A Sea-View In Pitch Darkness

  • an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD reporting on a potential legal challenge to NYCC’s proposed prohibition of on-street parking by motor-home users in the Borough of Scarborough.

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Background

There has been great contention, going back at least four years, over the matter of motor-homes parking overnight on the sea-front in resorts along the Scarborough Borough stretch of the North Yorkshire coast – administered by SBC on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Highways (Area 3) – with no propsect of resolution in sight.

The following articles on the Whitby Gazette web-site give something of the flavour of the row.

27/08/11http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/motorhome-owners-have-their-say-on-night-parking-1-3716068

  • “THE OWNERS of motorhomes have answered back to criticism at their parking on the West Cliff overnight and during the summer season.”

03/12/11http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/parking-on-west-cliff-being-revamped-1-4025767

  • “PARKING on Whitby’s West Cliff is being revamped in a bid to create more spaces for visitors and tackle the evergrowing problem of motorhomes.”

28/06/12http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/parking-plans-motor-on-1-4684326

  • “A PARKING area which allows the overnight camping of motorhomes is being designated in Whitby for a one year trial.”

12/10/12http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/motorhomes-row-set-to-rumble-on-1-5015699

  • ” THE row over motorhomes in Whitby is set to rumble on as council officers do a u-turn on creating designated parking areas for them.”

11/11/12http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/letters/motorhome-user-s-viewpoint-1-5102788

  • “If it is agreed that we should ban sleeping in motorhomes overnight in these areas, then our councillors should be able to find an effective way of doing just that.”

The County and Borough Councillor who has been at the heart of the action, championing the cause of the hoteliers who hold a personal interest in the prohibition of overnight parking by motor-homes, is Joe PLANT – he of “Me Too!” and “Double-dipping” fame, the self-vaunted saviour of the Whitby Piers (with a little help from his ‘friend’ Robert GOODWILL).

Unfortunately for Councillor Joe PLANT, pandering to the hoteliers has proved to be a conundrum beyond the wit of man (or, at least, beyond the wit of NYCC Area 3 Highways).

The crux of the problem is neatly summed up in the opening paragraph of the following article:

01/08/13 – “Can’t legislate for camper vans in Whitby”

  • “Street signs along Whitbys[sic] West Cliff ordering people not to sleep in vehicles overnight are not enforceable, the police and county council have admitted.”

That was nineteen months ago. Since then, NYCC has been pulling out all the stops to plug the leaks in the regulations.

The latest round of consultations concludes today – the last day that the newest proposals are open to challenge.

Next

It is important at this point to emphasise that challenging these proposals is not for one moment about whether or not it is “a good thing” to prohibit overnight parking by motor-homes on the sea-fronts of the Borough.

No.

It is about ensuring that local authorities do not exceed their authority to impose regulations that are unlawful.

This is an important step towards ensuring that local decisions are determined democratically and not on a tilted playing-field contrived to serve only one sector of the crony community.

With this in mind, I commend to readers parking-campaigner Andy STRANGEWAY’s letter of objection, emailed to NYCC’s Legal Officer (Environment), Richard PENNELL, followed by the NYCC Statement of Reasons itself.

Before reading, let us be mindful of the following aphorism:

“Local Government is a master plan devised by geniuses, for execution by imbeciles.”

The shortcoming of some of the geniuses was to underestimate the rank stupidity of some of the imbeciles. So it goes.

Now read on:

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—– Original Message —–

From: Andy Strangeway

To:  Richard Pennell

Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 7:30 PM

Subject: Re: Proposed Prohibition of Overnight Parking for Motor Caravans (Re-advertisement) – Various Roads in Scarborough/Cayton/Filey/Sandsend/Whitby

Dear Richard,

The National Motorhome Organisation object to the proposed order restricting the parking of Motor Caravans between the hours of 23.00 and 07.00 for the following reasons:

Statement of Reasons

The following are objections with regards the Statement of Reasons:

  1. “It is reported that heavily affected sea-side streets often experience one motor caravan being replaced by another.”
  • There is no evidence to support this statement.
  1. “The specific amenities that the Council considers are impacted upon by the overnight camping of motor caravans are the change in character of a street (from a public highway for all to enjoy, to a camping site).”
  • There is no evidence to prove anyone is camping in a motor caravan.
  1. “…loss of view/sea view for other highway users and particularly for neighbouring properties…”
  • This statement is absurd as the vast majority of the time the order will be in place it will be dark!
  1. There is no loss of sea view on Royal Albert Drive as there is a cliff behind the parking bays.
  2. ” …noise, litter, extraneous light, and the depositing of waste into highway gullies.”
  • There is no evidence to support this statement.
  1. “Residents should have the reasonable right to enjoy the aspect of their properties and the amenities of the area without large vehicles inhabiting the street adjacent to and in close proximity to their homes, (which in the locations includes, as an amenity, a sea-side aspect).”
  • This is not a legal right.
  1. “The amenities are further detracted from through over-night parking of such vehicles due to the impact upon some public services (including road sweeping and waste emptying that overnight camping brings.”
  • There is no evidence to support this statement and no evidence to prove anyone is camping.
  1. “There are many other locations in Scarborough Borough where motor caravans may continue to park unrestricted on the publicly maintainable highway.”
  • North Yorkshire County Council have failed to provide a definitive list of these locations.
  1. “Overnight occupancy of motor caravans…”
  • This statement is unproven.
  1. “This can impact upon the rights of the permanent residents to enjoyment of their property, and their privacy.”
  • This is a false statement as no such right to a sea-view exists.
  1. “The overnight occupancy of motor caravans generates noise, sometimes within close proximity to residential properties which can be anti-social for permanent residents.”
  • The Road Traffic Act cannot be used for anti-social behaviour. To do so is a breach of fundamental legislation.
  1. “The overnight occupancy of motor vehicles on the highway, in locations which do not include appropriate facilities for camping, can lead to inappropriate use of highway gullies and drains for the depositing of waste. The effective “camping” on the highway also generates larger volumes of refuse, beyond the normal amounts of litter generated by those visiting the location for a short-stay.”
  • There is no evidence to support this statement.
  1. “This refuse can be deposited in public litter bins, a purpose for which they are not designed”
  • Neither NYCC or SBC can provide evidence that litter bins are provide for use between the hours of 07.00 and 23.00. Litter bins are not provided solely for day trippers as they are most certainly provided for local residents.
  1. “…and a seasonal high volume of waste has historically been experienced in the various locations, which can cause spillages onto the highway and may necessitate the Borough Council increasing its cleansing schedule, to allow the for the bins to be used by day trippers as intended.”
  • There is no evidence that this is due to the overnight parking of motor caravans.
  1. “Overnight occupancy of motor caravans can increase the level of lighting on the highway during the hours of darkness.”
  • This statement is both absurd and without evidence.
  1. “This is undesirable because it can be distracting for highway users and anti-social in locations which are in close proximity to nearby residential properties.”
  • The Road Traffic Act cannot be used for anti-social behaviour. To do so is a breach of fundamental legislation.
  1. “Not all amenities of the area would be preserved, as one of the amenities is the 24 hour use of the affected streets by motor caravans, which would be prevented by the Order.”
  • The order would “preserve a right” which is not a right for approximately 1,000 affected properties but remove a right, 24-hour parking, which is a legal right from over 250,000 UK motor caravan owners.

The above 17 points clearly demonstrate that the Statement of Reasons is either unsubstantiated, false or in breach of fundamental legislation.

In Addition

  1. NYCC stated to the National Motorhome Organisation: “The loss of sea view is one of several amenities affected.”
  • As the Statement of Reasons does not state any other amenities affected, the Statement of Reasons is false.
  1. NYCC stated to the National Motorhome Organisation: “The bins in the location are placed by Scarborough Borough Council and are placed in the highway to accommodate the waste generated by day-trippers and general passers by.”
  • There is no evidence to support this statement.

For the above reasons the “No Motor Caravans” order cannot be introduced.

If NYCC ignore the stated reasons and introduce an order they will face a Judicial Review which will consider the stated reasons in a court of law.

Kindest Regards,

Andy Strangeway


    

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