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Plan for new jetski sites falls flat

PUBLISHED: 08:49 11 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:11 13 July 2010

Attempts to control jetskis along the north Norfolk coast have been left high and dry because seaside villages refuse to host extra launch sites.

Complaints about noise, safety conflicts with other shore users and vehicles on the beach have seen local officials and councillors trying to find a solution for years.

Attempts to control jetskis along the north Norfolk coast have been left high and dry because seaside villages refuse to host extra launch sites.

Complaints about noise, safety conflicts with other shore users and vehicles on the beach have seen local officials and councillors trying to find a solution for years.

Sea Palling is the main focus for jet skiers, and is host to an unofficial management system run by a local jetski business.

But fresh attempts to find other sittes to relieve the pressure and steer jetskiers away from problem locations look to have failed.

Five other villages were earmarked as possible launch sites - Overstrand east, Trimingham's Vale Road, Bacton Cable Gap, Happisburgh Cart Gap and Walcott.

But none of the communities was prepared to accept the idea, says North Norfolk District Council's head of coastal strategy Peter Frew.

The only one not a raise a strong objection was Walcott, and it was “probably the least suitable” of the batch, because of existing complaints about noise and cars on the beach, at a spot where parking was limited and housing was close by.

An earlier jetski working party set up in 2000 also failed to find an answer to the long-running issue.

The council's own powers were limited, due to the problems of policing the coastline, and the government's refusal to require registration of jetskis, making it difficult to identify people using them dangerously or inconsiderately.

So, with the lack of other controlled sites, due to community reluctance, the council's options were also limited said Mr Frew, who is recommending scrapping any attempts to promote new launch sites.

In a report to the cabinet on October 20 he is suggesting all the council can do is continue to work with the police through existing legislation, though he accepts that “this is not likely to be seen as a high priority by the police.”

But it aims to stage a public awareness campaign ahead of the jetski season, coupled with new signs showing what behaviour is unacceptable, and how people can report incidents.

Mr Frew said: “For this option to be effective, complaints to the police must be timely.

“That places the onus on the general public to report illegal, dangerous or anti-social activity direct to the police.

“Letters to MPs or the council after the event will not be effective and will only lead to more frustration.”


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