CHARGES have been introduced at a beauty spot car park on Portland in a bid to prevent mess being left by overnight campers who have been ignoring daytime-only parking rules.

Fees at New Ground Car Park have now come into force following 'many complaints' about campers emptying waste inappropriately and using the Quarry Nature Park as a toilet.

The car park had been partially opened after lockdown with a new sign limiting parking to daytime hours. But council officials says parking rules had been ignored, with the site packed with camper vans overnight.

The opened car park did not have sufficient capacity and parking in Yeates road was causing access problems.

To solve the issue, temporary charges have been introduced for a six-week trial period to alleviate the problem.

Funds raised from the charge will enable the council to hire a parking team to oversee the situation and discourage people from having barbecues, as well as pointing them in the direction of the nearest toilets at Yeates Road.

Portland Mayor, Councillor Sandy West, said: "We've had quite a few problems at New Ground with waste and litter so this is something we thought we'd try for six weeks.

"New Ground has one of the most fantastic views in the area. We don't want to put people off but with more people overnight camping, a lot of them don't seem to be sure about the rules, so I think this is a good idea.

"We have taken on a parking company and a ticket man will be on site to gently remind people what the rules are and help clarify the situation, and make sure bays are kept clear and that there's space for the ice cream van to park.

"We don't expect it to be a big money maker, but if we do make money it means it can go back into other services.

"We are also putting in a sluice for emptying camper van waste at Yeats, round the corner, which will help with some of the issues with mess."

Cllr West said special arrangements are being put in place for Portland residents, which are to be confirmed.

Parking will now cost £1 for up to two hours, £3 for all day and £10 for overnight stays.

Any profit from the car park will go towards maintenance costs.