SECURITY is set to be beefed up at a Colchester retail park in a bid to ban boy racers for good.

New, long-term measures to stop car cruisers upsetting neighbouring residents include automatic number plate recognition and a security barrier at the entrance.

Colchester Council also wants to extend an antisocial behaviour order which has been in place for almost a year and is due to expire on January 7.

The order was made following several incidents where car cruisers had roared into the park, upsetting neighbours by revving their engines, playing loud music and burning rubber in the car park.

It is understood the barrier will be closed overnight from either 10pm or 11pm after the Pizza Hut restaurant, which stays open the latest, closes to customers.

Martin Goss, Colchester councillor for Mile End ward, said the barrier and ANPR system would ensure the retail park was protected from unwanted visitors in the long term.

He said speed humps would also be installed in the car park to make motorists slow down.

Mr Goss added: "There may well come a point where the legislation gets changed. It is new and still bedding in, or at some point it might be that people don't wish for the order to be renewed.

"Personally I would like to see it kept and renewed every year.

"The other problem with these orders is they move the problem elsewhere."

The order currently applies between 6pm and 6am and means police can ban motorists from the car park unless the driver or passengers is shopping, or using restaurants on the site.

Legitimate shop and restaurant customers going there during the hours the ban is in force will be given just 20 minutes to leave after they finish eating or shopping.

The order also bans burger vans from selling food without permission, something which has added to the problems in the past.

Anyone breaching the order risks a £100 fine.

Since the introduction of the order the site has not been used for any organised events operating without permission, and no complaints have been received from residents.

The consultation on whether to extend the order for another 12 months has now started and will run until January 6.

Tina Bourne, Colchester Council's portfolio holder for Housing and Public Protection, added: “The current PSPO has been a great success in curtailing frequent and excessive anti-social behaviour which was blighting the lives of local residents."

A council spokesman said: "The management of Turner Rise Retail Park has offered assurances that a barrier and an ANPR system will be installed at the entrance, but have yet to confirm a date for the installation."

Quadrant Estates, which runs Turner Rise Retail Park, was contacted for comment but did not respond.

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