Concern over campervans parking in residential areas of Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 06:30 02 June 2017

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Holidaymakers in campervans have begun parking in residential streets to avoid charges on Exmouth seafront, it has been said.

For many years, the issue of campervans parking on Exmouth seafront has been divisive, with debate about whether they should be encouraged to move away from on-road parking in Queen’s Drive to nearby car parks.

Now, however, there are reports that campervan drivers seeking to avoid paying for on-road parking on the seafront are instead parking outside people’s homes in roads such as Douglas Avenue and Trefusis Terrace, causing complaints from residents.

District councillor Mark Williamson said: “There is an issue with the number of campervans found parked on residential roads.

“There is plenty of evidence holidaymakers with campervans, rather than pay the tariff at East Devon car parks or on the seafront, are trying to avoid paying the tariff. It may be perfectly legal, but people aren’t happy about having a campervan outside.

“Someone said to me the other day, ‘Would you like a campervan parked outside your house for long periods’ – not particularly.”

Councillors have also received complaints of campervan users parked in residential areas disposing of waste water - used for washing - in street sewers.

County councillor Christine Channon said: “With the ones up on Douglas Avenue, we had complaints that they were throwing out waste water and so on.”

Cllr Channon suggested that problems with campervans could be solved by a traffic order, but this would need support from the police and town councillors.

Exmouth Town Council is expected to debate the issue soon.

Regarding the overall issue of campervans, Cllr Channon suggested that previous proposals that the vehicles could move to the Maer Road car park could be looked at again, saying she had received reports of 75 campervans parking on Queen’s Drive at the weekend, and also along Maer Lane.

She said: “What worries me particularly is a lot of them are so big, and park with ends over the esplanade, that it’s very difficult to get past them, so cyclists and people with buggies have some issue getting by.”

A Devon County Council spokesperson said: “Campervans can park legitimately where they are complying with relevant parking restrictions. If residents have concerns about parking in their street, these issues can be flagged to us and options can be reviewed with the local county councillor.

“Options may include measures such as residents’ parking.”

An East Devon District Council spokesperson said: “Officers from the environmental health and private sector housing teams receive enquiries about campervans parked on residential roads throughout the summer, particularly near the East Devon beaches.

“Sometimes the vans are parked in other areas, which are not designated camp sites. Wherever possible we visit and provide advice to the drivers of the vans to encourage them to use camp sites, to park away from residential areas and not to stop in any one location for more than 24 hours.

“In order to address the concerns of the residents affected, officers are planning to produce an advice note to the drivers of campervans, which will provide information on the correct way to manage and dispose of their waste, how to avoid causing noise problems, being responsible for their dogs and pointing out the problems that can result when they park in residential roads.

“The vans are parked lawfully on the roads but it is not acceptable for any waste to be disposed of into the road gullies because in our seaside towns surface water is likely to end up in the streams and rivers or on the beaches.”

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