Eastney Naturists

Campaigning to Save the Beach

The signs are missing once again!!!

This time it’s the Council who have removed them, under pressure from QinetiQ!

Missing Sign at entrance to the beach Missing Sign at far end of the beach

There are reports on the forum that the signs were taken down on Sunday (09 Sept 2007) morning.  When one of the beach users questioned this, they were told that the land had now been sold & that it was now private. 

We’ve now been in touch with the Sea Front Management to clarify what’s going on and we were told that:

The signs were put up in response to an Eastney Neighbourhood Forum meeting back in Sept 2000 and had the agreement of a number of stakeholders – Council, Police, Eastney residents & interested parties via the Eastney Neighbourhood Forum.  I wonder if any of the stakeholders were informed or consulted before this decision to remove the signs was made?  The beach users and naturists certainly weren’t.

Apparently QinetiQ have told the Council that they “have agreed to public access along the footpath”.  This is very different to the promises their spokesman made to the planning committee and represents a major  retrograde step.  Their spokesman, Matthew Fox, told the planning committee that they “would have no objection to its continued legitimate public use” (this was also reported by the News and is still available on their website).

Did this promise sway the planning committee’s decision at all (it was a close vote)?  Do you think that they feel that they now longer needed to keep this promise once the outline planning permission had been granted?

In any case, I suspect an argument could have been made for the footpath irrespective of QinetiQ’s “generosity” – we have a number of affidavits testifying to free and unhindered access to the beach for more than 60 years – I understand these affidavits could be of use to anyone seeking to establish a formal right of way.

The denial of public access would represent a major loss for the city.

If you’re also not too happy about this action (is this the first step towards closing off the beach to the public or is it just the naturists that are being targetted?), why not complain to the Council and/or to QinetiQ about it?  The more comments / complaints they receive the more notice they’ll have to take of our concerns.

Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Hants, PO1 2BG  

Email: cityhelpdesk@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
City Helpdesk: 023 9283 4092

Portsmouth City Council’s complaints procedure can be found here: http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/yourcouncil/1084.html

QinetiQ Group PLC
Registered Office
85 Buckingham Gate,

Using their online form: http://www.qinetiq.com/home/contact/QQenquiryform.html
Telephone: 08700 100 942

Councillor Contacts:

Councillor Terry Hall (Lib Dem)
Councillor for Eastney & Craneswater
Telephone: 023 9273 2980
Email: Cllr.Terry.Hall@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Councillor Anthony Martin (Independent)
Councillor for Eastney & Craneswater
Telephone: 023 9283 4172
Email: Cllr.Anthony.Martin@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Councillor Luke Stubbs (Cons)
Councillor for Eastney and Craneswater
Telephone: 023 92 793 822 (home) 07986 037 323 (mobile)
Email: Cllr.Luke.Stubbs@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Councillor Alex Bentley (Lib Dem)
Councillor for Milton
Telephone: 023 9261 0285 (home) 023 9273 1441 (office)
Email: Cllr.Alex.Bentley@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Councillor Caroline Scott (Lib Dem)
Councillor for Milton
Telephone: 02392 291118
Email: Cllr.Caroline.Scott@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dem)
Leader of Portsmouth City Council
& Councillor for Milton
Telephone: 023 9283 4551 (office) 023 9275 3656 (home)
Email: Cllr.Gerald.Vernon-Jackson@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Do please let us know what responses you get: info@eastneybeach.org.uk.uk

© Eastney Naturist Beach Liaison Group- Eastney Naturists