Visitors to South Gare in Redcar have been warned by Teesport operator PD Ports that the popular beauty spot is “not a certified camping site”.

The privately owned peninsula at the mouth of the River Tees receives thousands of visitors each year attracted by its breakwater, fishing, sandy dunes and picturesque views over the small harbour at Paddy’s Hole.

But particularly during warmer months the narrow South Gare Road can become clogged with mobile homes and caravans – making access tricky when vehicles are required to pass each other.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) experienced this when a reporter visited over the recent Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

The LDRS has also received accounts from members of the public of an increased number of vehicles being left and returned to on weekends, along with Facebook-organised large scale gatherings, including late night beach parties.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Motorhomes and caravans parked at South Gare. Picture: Alan Wallis

Some local residents say they can no longer park at the Gare on busy days, meanwhile PD Ports, which owns and maintains the land, has suggested visitors should not be camping overnight and it is “monitoring the situation”.

Local Alan Wallis said he had previously counted 162 vehicles in one day in the area.

Mr Wallis said: “Come the weekend you can’t move for them.”

He added: “It’s a joke now, some [people] are there all year round, they even got a burger van in.

“It’s gone way too far now with even more [vehicles] than last year.”

Coatham ward councillor Carl Quartermain said: “While this is not council or public land, motorhomes and caravans have been using the area for years.

“I have been alerted to an increase which some may feel is affecting the ambience and the view.

“However I haven’t had any complaints about unlawful behaviour.”

A PD Ports spokeswoman said: “South Gare was built as an operational breakwater by the Port Authority in the 19th Century in order to protect navigation and businesses along the River Tees. 

“It is owned and maintained by PD Ports and we have a number of tenants and licensees in the area, including the recent announcement of a seal rescue centre. 

“Access to South Gare is along South Gare Road through the former steelworks site, a right of access which we have recently successfully defended in the High Court.

“The Gare is not a certified camping site and does not have the appropriate facilities for such purposes. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”