Victory for residents and common sense on parking

Tom Steanson at Harbour Road in Seahouses.
Tom Steanson at Harbour Road in Seahouses.

Residents of a north Northumberland village are glad that ‘common sense has prevailed’ in a dispute which saw them unable to park their cars outside their homes.

Householders on Harbour Road in Seahouses have always parked their cars in front of their houses between the double yellow lines and the properties.

But following the county council taking over responsibility for parking enforcement last year, a number of cars received parking tickets.

The Gazette first reported on the parking problems in Seahouses in June when it was raised at the meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council.

Since then residents and county councillor Pat Scott have been trying to sort out the matter.

In October, we reported that the county council had said that looking at the deeds was one way of trying to solve the issue.

The residents have always maintained that they own the land up to the high-water mark, which is well past the double yellow lines.

The 22 affected residents got together and elected Tom Steanson as their spokesman.

Following several meetings, he presented the county council with three different sets of deeds, from the 1920s, from 1967, when the conversion to homes took place, and from when he bought the property.

During the negotiations, there was further anger when a civil enforcement officer returned to ticket more cars.

But now the parking services team has told the residents that parking enforcement will be suspended and the tickets rescinded.

This was welcomed by the residents, but they feel that the issue should never have arisen in the first place.

Mr Steanson said: “We are still very angry and annoyed that we have been targeted and we would still like to know why, after 50 years, these residents have been given parking tickets,

“People should be looking at the bigger picture, not a £30 parking ticket.

“We spend a lot of time and money in the local area. Why are we being persecuted?

“What we are hoping now that common sense has prevailed is that the goodwill that’s started to come through continues.”

He said that one good thing to come from the saga was that the residents now all knew one another and were in contact with each other. They began the battle as 22 individuals, but ended it united.

He also thanked Paul McKenna, from the council’s highways and traffic team, research officer Terry Rogerson from the records office, and Coun Pat Scott for their efforts.

The situation regarding land ownership may be slightly different for the properties on the bank at the end of Harbour Road.

But Mr Steanson said that the council is willing to work with residents to come to an agreement.