Councillors in Falmouth have confirmed that they are considering new motorhome stopover sites in a bid to help solve a rise in complaints from residents about visiting campervans and motorhomes, the BBC has reported.
They are in talks with the Campaign for Real Aires (CAMpRA), which promotes the benefits of aires to the local economy.
A consultation on parking restrictions on the Falmouth seafront is being launched by Cornwall Council in October.
Councillor Laurie Macgowan said: “There’s been a mixture of concerns really, some are around the aesthetics and the impact that’s having on Falmouth as a key tourist destination but also issues in some cases around the environmental impact and also genuine concerns about people living in vans, their situations which could be linked to homelessness or the housing crisis.”
It comes after South Hams District Council said a trial allowing overnight parking for motorhomes in some of its car parks was a “success”.
Steve Haywood, of CAMpRA, said: “We’re not making demands for parking or anything else, we are trying to promote the benefits to councils and businesses – that they’re recognised in Europe for many years, that motorhomers not only… spend money when we stay but we travel all year around so when all the mainstream tourists have gone home and all your tourism businesses and car parks are empty… motor caravaners are still coming.”
On speaking to the Falmouth working group in September, Steve added: “They have got people parking not unofficially [but] in areas where they would prefer not to have them.
“So we are saying can we provide somewhere for them where you want them to be rather than where they want to be.”
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said the council was sometimes asked to consider providing pitches for motorhomes and campervans in its car parks, but Cornwall had many businesses such as campsites and holiday parks offering facilities for those holidaying in camper vans and motor homes.
He said: “The ban on overnight camping in council car parks, and on residential roads in tourist hotspots, is at the request of residents and local councils. Any change to the current position would require extensive consultation.”
Mr Macgowan said Falmouth wanted to find “sustainable solutions” by addressing the concerns of businesses and residents but also by looking to provide somewhere for people in a van to stay that was “safe, secure and affordable”
NEED TO KNOW: Aires are overnight parking areas for self-contained motorhomes and campervans. They are popular in towns and villages across Europe and often include facilities such as access to fresh water and chemical disposal points. Some aires charge a small fee, others are free.
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