Exmouth campervan conundrum: car parks could hold the key to solution

PUBLISHED: 10:19 24 July 2017

Campervans at Orcombe. Ref exe 21-16SH 6027. Picture: Simon Horn.

Campervans at Orcombe. Ref exe 21-16SH 6027. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

An East Devon District councillor said an overhaul of rules was needed for campervan’s overnight parking on the sea front.

Action is to be taken over ‘inconsiderate’ campervans parking on Exmouth’s seafront and roads.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said a total ban on overnight on-street parking could be in the pipeline, with ‘inexpensive’ overnight facilities on offer instead at some of its public off-street car parks.

The district council will spend the summer targeting the vehicle owners with a leaflet drop over sanitation concerns raised by the public.

Councillor Marcus Hartnell, EDDC member for environment, said an overhaul of rules was needed and new restrictions imposed.

He added: “The council has previously made a decision not to allow overnight parking of campervans and motorhomes in EDDC car parks suggesting that they should use legitimate licensed sites instead.

“However, on the basis of recent problems arising on the street, I do believe that we should now review that policy and explore whether we could offer inexpensive overnight facilities in some of the council’s off-street car parks.

“I am afraid that this will only be a success if it is possible to also impose a restriction that means that motorhomes and campervans are prevented from parking on-street overnight in the area.”

A regular seafront visitor this week said he was ‘at the point of avoiding coming to Exmouth’ because of the number of vans parked on the seafront, with wheels on the pavement, or discharging what he believes was ‘effluent’ directly onto the road and pavement.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said: “We will now not park in the spaces as there is a strong smell of what we think is urine.

“With young children and families walking barefoot this time of the year, this is clearly a health hazard.”

The district council said it was responding to ongoing concerns raised by the public, but admitted it had ‘limited’ powers to deal with the parked vehicles.

It said it was working with Exmouth Town Council and Devon County Council to find a suitable long-term solution to the range of problems associated with campervans and motorhomes parking on-street in the town and the issues caused by ‘inconsiderate users’.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “In response to residents’ concerns regarding campervans parking in residential roads for long periods of time and behaving inconsiderately towards residents - putting waste water down surface water drains - we have produced an advisory leaflet to hand out to campervan owners. These leaflets will be ready for distribution this summer and we can look to use them in roads where we are made aware of a campervan parking issue by residents.

“We will develop a poster based on the leaflet for display use within public toilets.

The spokeswoman added: “With regards to campervans parking lawfully on the public highway, we have limited powers; this would be a matter for Devon County Council Highways authority.”


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