MOTOR home owners are to be banned from overnight stays at the Station Yard car park at West Bay.

The changes at Station Yard come about after complaints from residents about both motor homes and caravans using the car park overnight without being charged. Up to 30 at a time have been taking advantage of the free overnight parking after it featured on a website.

Brief holder Cllr John Russell said the 'invasion' had resulted in “fouling, and the theft of water.”

“I don't know how the word spreads but the news has now spread that this is somewhere to park for free,” he said.

West Dorset's strategy committee heard that there had been problems with people emptying their onboard loos into nearby public toilets – or even onto the car park.

Council leader Tony Alford said he visited one Sunday morning and found about 20 parked up: “I would be surprised if they all arrived that morning...this is something these people have been taking advantage of.”

Councillors, meeting in Dorchester today (Thursday), approved the ban on overnight parking – which will be enforced by a locked gate, if needed.

A report before the committee recommended the change but warns that motorhome owners might simply park elsewhere in the area – including residential streets.

Said Cllr Peter Barrowcliff: "We are not banning mobile homes - just overnight parking."

The committee also agreed to remove the restriction of a maximum of three hours for the Mound Car Park and introduce charges of £2 an hour for every hour after three hours.

Cllr Russell said the changes would help divers who use the air station based at the car park and then go out on local dive boats.