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New rules to help people enjoy seashore

New rules to tackle dangerous and anti-social behaviour on Gosport's seashore are to come into effect next month.

The rules, approved by councillors last week, are designed to ensure that people can enjoy the borough's coastline in peace and safety.

They give powers to Gosport Borough Council officers and police to issue fines for activities including:

  • launching jet skis outside of designated areas
  • lighting barbecues outside of a designated area
  • interfering with life-saving equipment
  • holding big parties, with music, without consent
  • cycling off designated routes
  • driving, or riding a motorbike
  • parking outside of a designated area
  • releasing lighted sky lanterns
  • horse riding

The new rules, called seashore byelaws, are due to come into effect on 22 July. An offence could result in a £75 on-the-spot fine or prosecution in court, where a fine of up to £500 is possible.

The rules also govern activities such as kite flying, using kite buggies, kite surfing, holding public performances, playing games and sports, begging and trading, fishing and bait digging.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: "These rules are designed to deal with behaviour that can cause danger or annoyance to others.

"Many of the activities covered are fine if you are considerate and sensible. This usually means simply making sure people nearby aren't put in danger or disturbed. In many other cases an activity is OK as long as it takes place in a designated area or with the council's consent.

"Also, officers will use their discretion. This is not about being killjoys, it's about stepping in when ordinary people, trying to enjoy the seashore, are being affected by anti-social or unsafe behaviour."

The new rules replace a list dating back more than 60 years, and are designed to cover current issues. They have been shaped following public consultations, which demonstrated support for the approach.

Jet skis have been a particular concern for residents. The new rules ban the launching of jet skis at night, or in such a manner as to cause danger, nuisance or annoyance. They must be launched from designated areas.

See the full list of seashore byelaws.

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