Common sense has prevailed in the attempt to ban horse owners from being able to park their vehicles at Par Beach.
A recently imposed ban by Cornwall Council that would have stopped horse owners from exercising their horses on the beach has been reversed following a campaign by local people. The campaign was supported by Steve Double, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for St Austell and Newquay, who met with council officers to press home their case.
Following the news that the council had agreed to allow horse boxes to continue to use the site Steve said ‘this really is a victory for common sense and shows what can be achieved when local people work together to stand up for themselves. There was a great deal of confusion about what type of vehicles would and would not be allowed park at the beach. I called for a meeting with council officers and ask for clarification; at first it looked like horse boxes would be banned. Following the initial meeting I followed up with a further discussion with the council and managed to persuade them to change their minds’.
Steve continued ‘I grew up in the area and have been a regular visitor to this beach all my life. Horses have been exercising on Par Beach for as long as anyone can remember and the vast majority of local people really enjoy the site of horses trotting through the sea or rolling on the sand. Par is one of very few beaches in mid-Cornwall where horses are allowed that is suitable for horses, as it is flat and wide. This issue is also important for local tourism as I am aware that horse owners from across the country come to stay nearby in order to be able to use the beach with their horses. I am delighted to have been able to help in persuading the council to continue to allow horse boxes to park there and therefore for horses to be able to visit.’
Vicky Dean, who initially received a parking fine that sparked the campaign said ‘I am so happy that we have managed to persuade the council to change their minds. It did look as though we would not be able to park our trucks at the beach which would have meant we could no longer enjoy riding our horses on the beach. As a result of the letters and emails people wrote in and the work of local councillors and other politicians we clearly presented a compelling case that officials took notice of. I want to thank everyone who helped and supported our campaign, together we are stronger. This is a victory for local people and common sense.’
Audrey Cole, a regular visitor to the beach with her horse Sambuca said ‘exercising horses on the beach is really beneficial for their health and fitness. It would have been a great loss if we were no longer able to use the beach in this way. Horse owners are highly responsible people and are always aware of the need to be safe and careful in the way the park and behave. At the times we use the beach there is rarely more than a handful of other people using the beach and in all the years I have been going there with my horses I have never known of any issues for concern. I am so grateful to everyone who supported us in achieving this outcome but I want to especially thank Steve Double who took a very active interest in the issue and met with the council on our behalf.’
Cornwall Council has agreed that horse vehicles of all types can continue to use the beach car park at all times in the winter months and at off peak times in the spring and summer. The situation will be monitored during the rest of this year before a permanent change to the regulations is made.