A 40-strong action group of Poole residents has been formed to fight against party houses they say are blighting their lives.
Residents of Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park beset by noise and anti-social behaviour from homes rented out for big family, stag and hen parties, have formed the Party House Action Group.
Founder Steve Cameron, of Moorfields Road, whose family has to put up with late-night nuisance from a party house in nearby Elmstead Road, said there was a solution through planning regulations and accused the council of not grasping the nettle.
“You have occupancy of up to 20 people in a four-bed house. It’s just not right and the council need to do something about it,” he said.
“Residents are being let down and the people running these houses are being let down. There is no legislation and people are being put at risk every way.”
The group argues that enforcement action could be taken as this is a change of use from a normal residence and points out there is no protection for party-goers through fire regulations or limits on numbers.
“No one is a party pooper,” he said. “Everyone has a barbecue or a party, especially when the weather is nice. But it’s not like every day.”
Dorset Police and Borough of Poole have got together to produce a letter for residents which sets out what action can be taken through environmental health and in incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Mr Cameron welcomed the letter as “helpful” adding: “It is difficult to deal with under these laws. That is why we are saying it’s a planning issue.”
The extent of the problem was set out by Poole MP Robert Syms at a Westminster debate in the spring.
He outlined a catalogue of complaints including drunken revellers playing football in gardens at 3am, prostitutes arriving at all hours, thumping music all night, blow-up sex toys left in full view of the street and drunks climbing neighbours’ trees.
The borough responds
Andy Dearing, team enforcement manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The council is carefully considering all the comments made by the Party House Action Group that the properties concerned are in breach of planning law.
“We are continuing to work hard with residents, councillors and environmental health to enable the planners to make an assessment of each property’s characteristics.”