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Jetski launch sites left high and dry

PUBLISHED: 10:44 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:01 03 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 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 officials and councillors trying to find a solution for years.

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

But fresh attempts to find other sites 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, according to North Norfolk District Council's head of coastal strategy, Peter Frew.

The only one not to 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, he said.

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

Mr Frew said the council's own powers were limited because of 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 because of community reluctance, the council's options also had limitations.

Mr Frew is recommending scrapping any attempts to promote new launch sites.

In a report to the council cabinet, which meets next Monday, he is suggesting that all the council can do is continue to work with the police through existing legislation.

However, he concedes that “this is not likely to be seen as a high priority by the police.”

One aim is to stage a public awareness campaign ahead of the jetski season, coupled with installing new signs showing what types of behaviour are unacceptable and explaining how people can report problem 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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