Gwynedd Council has outlined plans to trial five aire-style overnight parking sites for motorhomes and campervans.
Proposed locations include Shell car park, Caernarfon; Y Glyn, Llanberis; Y Maes car park, Criccieth; North Quay, Pwllheli; and Promenade car park, Barmouth.
If permission is granted, each site will have space for up to nine fee-paying motorhomes or campervans to park for a maximum of 48 hours, and will include facilities for fresh water, chemical wastewater, recycling and general rubbish.
Cllr Dafydd Meurig, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “I am delighted that plans to trial the Arosfan sites are taking another significant step forward.
“We are working hard to strike the right balance between promoting a sustainable tourism industry, tackling the issues caused by illegal and irresponsible overnight camping and also being respectful of private businesses and enterprises.
“As part of the preparation work, we have listened to the views and opinions of local communities, campsite operators and motorhome owners to understand the problem and come up with a solution that suits all sector.
“The Arosfan project goes hand-in-hand with a wider campaign to clamp down on illegal overnight camping in specific hot-spots where environmental problems – such as littering and worse – has been apparent.”
An application to establish the five trial sites will be submitted to Gwynedd Council’s planning service.
If approved, it’s hoped that the five trial sites will be operational by spring 2023.
The plans come after securing funding through the Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics programme in May 2022.
Cllr Nia Jeffreys, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “Since the COVID pandemic, we have seen an explosion in the number of people visiting in motorhomes and campervans, and the lack of suitable facilities has led to a number of environmental and social problems.
“So, I warmly welcome these plans which will contribute towards our goal of a more sustainable tourism industry.
“All the proposed Arosfan sites will be located within walking distance to key towns and destinations and will operate a strict 48-hour maximum stay.
“This is aimed at making use of local transport links and infrastructure as well as ensuring that local businesses don’t miss out as people come to enjoy the unique tourist experience that Gwynedd has to offer.
“In addition to providing designated spaces for vans, the council will be actively reminding visitors about the hazards caused by illegal camping and encouraging people to stay at licenced campsites.
“Increased enforcement and restrictions will also be in place to target key illegal camping hotspots.”
If the pilot proves successful, further sites may be developed across the county in the future.