WORRIED residents packed out a meeting to voice concerns about the so-called ‘party houses’ in Poole’s Canford Cliffs.
The ongoing issue, highlighted in Parliament by Poole MP Robert Syms earlier this month, has left some local residents at loggerheads with Borough of Poole officials.
Neighbours describe a situation where privately-rented homes, in one of Poole’s most expensive postcode areas, are being offered on short-term leases for the purpose of raves, stag and hen parties.
Complaints include loud music all night, sex workers arriving at mansions in the early hours, blow up sex toys being paraded in the daytime and other anti-social behaviour.
Canford Cliffs resident Terence Stewart said around 100 people attended Saturday’s neighbour-hood association meeting .
He added: “Dorset Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and Robert Syms attended and we feel they are being very supportive. But we’re not getting the support we need, right now, from our local council.”
According to Mr Stewart, residents feel one way to combat the issue – as there is nothing illegal about privately renting out homes on a short term basis – could be through local planning regulations, particularly those concerning change of use.
He also said an impending Parliamentary Act, regarding anti-social behaviour, could help – but it is not due to come into force until October.
“This leaves many residents facing the prospect of having the whole of this summer totally disrupted every weekend,” he explained.
Borough of Poole’s cabinet holder for the environment, Cllr Xena Dion, has held meetings of service heads and neighbourhood police on the issue.
But, she explained: “The letting agent is acting legally, the people coming to the houses are acting legally. We are sympathetic to the affected neighbours but there is a limit to what our powers are.”