March 15, 2023 10.17 am This story is over 15 months old

Ban on metal detecting on North East Lincolnshire beaches without approval

Bans on BBQs and metal detecting

North East Lincolnshire Council is to ban metal detecting on council-owned land and beaches without prior approval. Public consultation on an all-out metal detecting ban found there was not majority support for such a move.

It is part of 10 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) the council are bringing in. These ban or restrict a range of activities on council-owned land such as parks and open spaces.

Covered are bonfires and barbecues, unauthorised vehicle parking on Pier and Brighton slipways, overnight caravanning on council-owned land, the release of Chinese lanterns, using a jet ski too close to other water users, using council-owned land as a take-off or landing site for paragliders, fishing, bait digging and obstruction of enforcement officers. The rules will take effect from April 1 after approval by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, March 8.

The cabinet agreed slight amendments to the wordings of the bans on metal detecting and Chinese lanterns. Metal detecting will be possible with prior approval as opposed to the original suggested all-out ban. Chinese lantern type devices will also be allowed for organised firework displays held by or with the written consent of the council.

A public consultation with over 300 responses on all the bans and restrictions proposed found high levels of support for all the PSPOs, except an all-out ban on metal detecting on council-owned land. This was opposed by 59% to 41%.

Meanwhile, 98% of respondents believe that our parks and open spaces including the beach and seafront should be safe and clean for all to use. “We’re lucky to have many parks and open spaces to visit and enjoy in North East Lincolnshire,” said Cllr Ron Shepherd in the run-up to the cabinet meeting.

“In Cleethorpes, we also have an internationally important habitat for wildlife. These places are treasured by most people, but some activities can harm the environment and wildlife or put people at risk.

“We have PSPOs in place to tackle problems such as dog fouling, cycling in the pedestrian zone and anti-social behaviour.” He said the new measures will curb activities putting others at risk or the environment.

“If successful, I would like to consider introducing further PSPOs to protect the local environment.” The 10 new PSPOs will come into force on April 1.

But there will be a soft launch for the first month, with individuals caught breaching the restrictions merely warned. A zero tolerance approach will start from May 1. The PSPOs are scheduled to last three years before a review.

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 may be given to anyone who breaches a PSPO. Failure to pay this or a challenge of the breach will lead to Magistrates’ Court. There, a fine of up to £1,000 is possible if found guilty.

The spate of new possible FPNs comes as the council announced on Monday, March 13, data on the work of its enforcement officers in the past year. Besides over 5,300 penalty charge notices issued between April 2022 and January 2023, and the seizure of 352,000 illegal cigarettes last year, 114 FPNs were issued for breach of beach and no cycling PSPO restrictions.


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