Seafront campervan parking row
09:22 10 August 2012
Campervan drivers who park along Exmouth seafront could be encouraged to switch to nearby car parks under plans being considered by district council chiefs.
The move comes after repeated complaints from beach users, who say that rows of parked vans along Queens Drive are an eyesore, and restrict parking for visitors in cars.
Journal reader Ian Huxtable wrote in to say: “I think Exmouth must have the cheapest caravan site in Great Britain for these campers to arrive year after year.
“Walking my dog along the seafront this morning I was confronted by the never-ending row of these big ugly things.
“I counted 27 of them from Foxholes Cafe to Orcombe Point. Surely something has to be done to find somewhere else for people to park their mobile homes?”
In response East Devon District Council, which patrols the Devon County Council-owned bays, said that, while the campervan owners are generally law-abiding, alternative sites for them are now being considered.
An EDDC spokesman said: “At present, 24-hour parking is allowed every day. Campervans are generally complying with the restrictions, provided that they go away at some stage during each 24-hour period and do not return for at least four hours.
“Clearly this means that the same vans can be present day after day and night after night, possibly giving the impression that they never move.”
The spokesman said Devon County Council had previously stated that there was little it could do to move campervans on unless their owners were responsible for problems such as antisocial behaviour or littering.
He continued: “The police have also received complaints in the past and they report that ‘the local officers state that they have never experienced any antisocial behaviour from those persons who park campervans on the seafront...’
“Based on the current situation, the police have no specific concerns regarding those who park overnight and with the current parking regulations as stipulated by Devon County Council the vehicles are parked legitimately. EDDC is currently reviewing the way in which it manages its car parks and our current parking places order does prohibit overnight sleeping in all East Devon car parks.
“However, we are already actively considering a proposal to remove this restriction in some of our long-stay car parks, including Maer Road, and to offer an overnight stay tariff for campervans and motor homes in certain designated bays. This will require a period of consultation, but at this stage the plan is to work towards having this in place by spring 2013.”