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New laws banning car sales to follow car park signs

New laws banning car sales to follow car park signs

Wednesday 24 October 2018

New laws banning car sales to follow car park signs

A soft touch approach to try and stop people selling cars in public, coastal car parks is to be followed up with permanent signs and then a change in the law.

Having previously warned people against using public car parks to sell vehicles, with lighthearted signs reminding owners that coastal car parks are for people visiting the beaches to use, the Committee for Environment and Infrastructure had to 'reluctantly' turn to the States law book to stop people doing it.

E&I said in May that it would ask the States to "agree the drafting of new legislation that will make it an offence to park vehicles marketed for sale in public car parks."

The Committee said it had "somewhat reluctantly concluded that making it an offence to sell vehicles from these publicly-owned and States of Guernsey-administered areas is the only way to restrict the actions of a minority."

The temporary signs were put up last year at popular locations such as Vazon and Cobo and Express was told earlier this year that they had helped bring a reduction in the number of vehicles being sold, with some sellers "embracing the variety of other ways vehicles can be marketed," however, a few "anti-social individuals have continued to use coastal car parks intended for leisure activities to sell vehicles."

shutterstock car for sale

Pictured: Many cars have been sold using public car parks - but that will soon be illegal. 

Deputy Mark Dorey, Vice-President of Environment & Infrastructure said in May that "the Committee was clear when launching its initiative in November (2017) that its preference was for the community to rally together and make it clear to these sellers that using picturesque coastal car parks as some kind of make-shift forecourt is not acceptable. However, we also said that the option of introducing parking controls would remain should this practice continue.

"The Committee has reached a point where it feels it has no other alternative than to legislate against this practice. Guernsey is a beautiful island with stunning coastline and it is deeply unfortunate that a few anti-social individuals are spoiling that appearance for their own personal gain.

"Creating a law is not a quick process as new legislation requires the approval of the States of Deliberation and drafting must be aligned against many other priority areas."

Until any new legislation can be brought in to ban selling cars in public car parks, Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services said it would be applying for planning permission to fix permanent versions of the signs that have already started to discourage sales in coastal car parks.  

That has now happened with four applications submitted last week for permanent signs at Vazon, Cobo and Bulwer Avenue. 


Pictured: Two of the planning applications relate to car parks in the Vazon area where people have sold cars for years. 

Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services, which had to apply for the planning permission from the Development and Planning Authority said an application for new legislation will follow after the permanent signs are installed. 

"Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services has applied for planning permission to fix permanent signs aimed at discouraging the sale of vehicles in coastal car parks," a spokesperson said. 

"The application for permanent signage follows on from the successful use of temporary signs that were placed at locations such as Vazon, Cobo and Bulwer Avenue.  It is pleasing to see that the temporary signage has had the desired effect of encouraging people to use other more acceptable methods to sell their vehicles.

"In due course the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure will ask the States to agree the drafting of new legislation which will make it an offence to park vehicles marketed for sale in public car parks.  However, the legislative route is a long one with no set timetable so at this stage signage will be relied upon in the meantime as an interim measure."

Pictured: Cars for sale on Southside, St Sampson. 

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