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News Archive > General > Boulders in place on town headland

Boulders in place on town headland

By Warren Wilkins 22nd August 2018

Boulders in place on town headland
Photos: Sadie Mutton

A vigilante has installed a row of boulders along a path at Pentire Headland to stop people from sleeping in camper vans there for months at a time.

Residents and businesses have been at their wits end due to the problems the campers have caused, which has included loud music, verbal abuse and using the verges as a toilet.

The row of concrete blocks was installed after notices were put in the windscreens warning people to remove their vehicles as the access to Riverside Crescent and verges would be permanently blocked.

Some people sympathise with the residents who have had to put up with loud music and people camping on their doorsteps, but not everyone is happy the track has been blocked off as they argue it is a public right of way, while others are concerned emergency vehicles will not be able to get through.

Mark Hitchens, an environmental protection officer at Cornwall Council, and the police visited the track last week following complaints, though the vigilante may not have done anything illegal as the NewquayVoice understands the ownership of the land is in dispute, although the Duchy of Cornwall “may have an interest”.

Cornwall Council states the boulders are not on its land or on the public highway. The authority says it would only remove the blocks if they were obstructing lawful use of the highway.

David Evison, chairman of Pentire Residents’ Association, said: “The lane has had particular problems with people living in camper vans for months on end and even throughout the winter.

They play loud music and leave a mess. You don’t mind an odd night but not when it goes on for such long periods of time. Through the association we made enquiries to Cornwall Council and the Duchy of Cornwall to get the issue resolved.

“I have an idea who put the blocks there. I was told a resident contributed towards the cost. I think the idea is a good one but the problem is the boulders were put in the wrong place. These boulders are blocking the whole lane. They should be moved to the right hand side to stop the campers.

“The issue comes down to who owns the land but no one wants to accept responsibility. This problem has been going on for years. At the moment people cannot drive along the track, which is a concern, especially if a fire engine or ambulance needs to get through. I think the council and the police are happy with the boulders but it is not a permanent solution.”

A resident added: “Even if they own it, it has been a public right of way for all of my life. I don’t think they can just close it off.

Although I understand how the residents up there feel about some of the vehicles that are parked there 24/7, surely this is not the way to deal with it.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s all down to enforcement. If these semi-permanent camper vans were not allowed to get embedded and were moved on then the spaces would naturally be available to anyone at any time.

“The selfish ones have spoilt it for everyone and this is where the blame and anger should lie, not with the ones who put the boulders there. Those who manage enforcement of parking restrictions need a kick up the backside!”

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: “The blocks have not been put in place by Cornwall Council and looking at the location they don’t appear to be on council land or the public highway. We would only remove them if they were obstructing lawful use of the highway.”

A Duchy of Cornwall spokesperson said: “The Duchy of Cornwall may now have an interest in this land (this is uncertain) as a result of a legal process called escheat. We are working to transfer any interest the Duchy has to appropriate owners to take on the responsible management of the site.”

By Warren Wilkins 22nd August 2018

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