Thanet District Council is planning to introduce a new Beaches and Coast Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which will put in measures including a ban on vehicles and a partial ban on bicycles on isle promenades.
PSPOs are only to be used to protect communities from unwanted anti-social behaviours and are only enforceable where there is reasonable evidence to do so. Breaking the rules is a criminal offence which could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice.
The PSPO will reflect and replace the existing bylaws, with minimal changes to the current rules. It is due to come into force on March 18 and remain in force for three years.
What will the PSPO cover?
The PSPO will cover nine key areas, the majority of which are the same as the byelaws that are currently in place. Below is an overview of the PSPO rules.
Vehicles – No motorised or electric vehicles may be parked or driven on the promenades or beaches.
Bicycles – At any time of year between the hours of sunrise and sunset, and from 1 May to 30 September inclusive between the hours of 10am and 6.00pm, a person shall not ride any cycle on any of the promenades where localised signage requires you to dismount.
Bonfires, Barbecues and large gatherings – Bonfires are not permitted on any of the council’s land at any time. BBQs are not allowed on any of the council’s land, however they are permitted on beaches after 6pm. Large gatherings are not permitted on the council’s beaches without prior permission. Large groups of 20 or more need to seek permission from Thanet District Council. Permission to have BBQ’s on Joss Bay at any time of the day will be removed. Joss Bay will have the same permissions in place as other bays (BBQ’s allowed after 6pm)
Begging, Touting, Hawking, Selling – Begging, Touting, Hawking, Selling is not permitted anywhere on Thanet’s beaches, promenades and coast.
Horse riding – Horse riding is not permitted – between 1st May and 30th September, between the hours of 9am and 7pm on beaches or promenades.
Encampments – Camping or the erection of any structure (this includes but is not exclusive to vehicles, tents, yurts and any other temporary building) being used to occupy land is not permitted on beaches, promenades, clifftops, nearby green spaces, car parks and surrounding areas of the public realm without prior consent of the Council, with the exception of sunshades.
Preaching, lectures, music and entertainment, sporting events, other events – Lectures, speeches, sermons, live music, busking and other types of entertainment performances/shows are not permitted, unless prior permission has been granted
Other actions which have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of others in the locality, and which could result in a fixed penalty notice – Urination, defecation, spitting or littering. Drinking alcohol in a public place- after being told not to. Ingesting, inhaling, injecting, smoking or otherwise using drugs/substances.
Beach recreational activities and water sports – Beach users are expected to adhere to the set of Coastal and Beach ‘Codes of Practice’ set out by Thanet District Council.
Water craft restrictions
A second part of the proposals is the decision to reduce the number of areas that Powered Water Crafts (mostly Jet Skis) can launch unsupervised from.
All public launch sites will be restricted and membership to the Water User Group for owners of these crafts will not be available. If a PWC user wants to launch in Thanet they will be able to do so from existing clubs including:
Either Jet Ski World or the Beresford Water Ski Club (day rates and membership may be required)
Ramsgate Harbour (once launching/mooring fees are paid. Daily rate available)
Any individual joining a club will be expected to follow their rules, which may include:
Not removing the silencers from their machines or carry out any other modifications to the exhaust system
Display the unique registration number for PWC
Be over the age of 17
It’s also desirable for the individual to hold the PWC proficiency qualification which is a one-off, one day course costing around £160
Other changes affecting PWC users
The Ramsgate Western Undercliff slipway will no longer be used for fishing boats
The Walpole Bay Bathing Pool is for bathing only, no watersports or craft are permitted.
Water User Group
An annual membership fee applies to become a WUG member. On signing up to our water user group individuals agree to abide by the Council’s rules and regulations. Any breach of these will result in their water user group membership being terminated, with no refund. They will also face the same financial penalty as any breach of our rules incurs under the PSPO.
Examples of breaches these penalties will apply to include:
The copying of issued barrier keys
Leaving barriers open for non group members to access
Launching of craft that is not permitted at a particular site
The use of craft in a manner that poses a risk to the safety of people or wildlife
The use of craft in a manner that has the potential to cause harassment, alarm and distress to any other beach or coast users, or residents
Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council said: “The proposed new PSPO and rules for PWC owners and Water User Group members provides us with an opportunity to make our foreshores and coastline safer and more enjoyable for all of its users.
“I would encourage anyone who spends time on our fantastic coastline to read the proposals and provide us with their valuable feedback.”
Have your say
The results of the consultation will be presented to Cabinet for a final decision to be made in March.