Council officers’ hours could be extended in bid to clamp down on stag and hen ‘party houses’ (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Council officers’ hours could be extended in bid to clamp down on stag and hen ‘party houses’ in Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks
Poole MP Robert Syms secured a Westminster Hall debate on the issue, last week, where he told Parliament how a number privately-rented homes in some of the town’s most expensive postcode areas, were being used for raucous raves, stag and hen parties.
Ward councillors had already pledged to work with residents, who complain their lives are being made a misery by the antics of some partygoers.
Complaints include loud music, prostitution and even blow-up sex dolls adorning the exteriors of the luxury homes being rented out. Neighbours say these parties run well into the early hours, after groups return from nightclubs in Bournemouth town centre.
Poole’s Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet holder for the environment, held a special meeting of service heads and neighbourhood police last week. Speaking to the Echo yesterday, she said: “We wanted to ask if we were doing everything as a council that we possibly could do – and the answer is, actually, yes.
“Currently, our officers are on duty until 2am and we are now looking at whether we can extend that, at the discretion of officers.”
However, Cllr Dion stressed the issue, whereby letting agents rent properties to private groups for up to £1,000 a night, needed to ‘be kept in proportion’.
Official figures for the whole of Poole in 2013 show there were just four weekends when noise disturbances were reported at ‘party houses’ after 4am. This year, so far, there has been reports on two additional weekends.
Over the past couple of years Borough of Poole has also lent out noise recording boxes to neighbours six times. Cllr Dion said on five of these occasions the boxes recorded nothing.
She added: “Many people renting these places out are not on stag and hen weekends, many are just families or friends wanting to get-together.
“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. We cannot just go around and close these houses down.”
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