Northumberland County Council has identified a number of car parks as potentially suitable for a campervan pilot scheme.
It is hoped the plans will manage motorhome and campervan visitors, directing drivers to where they are not going to cause issues for the local community or environment.
The proposed pilot scheme would allow eight motorhomes to park overnight in the overflow car park at Beadnell Bay, with six each at Bamburgh’s Links Road car park and Amble Braid.
There are public toilets at Beadnell and temporary portable toilets at Bamburgh but no facilities at Amble Braid.
The inclusion of Beadnell is also dependent on necessary groundworks to the proposed motorhome parking area being undertaken.
Spaces would have to be pre-booked online, with no option to pay on arrival, and tables, chairs, awnings and barbecues outside the vehicle would not be permitted.
Paul Jones, the council’s director of local services, in a report to those parish councils consulted, said: “The council recognises that the use of motorhomes is an increasing trend escalated by the Covid-19 pandemic and an increase in ‘staycations’.
“There are concerns that there won’t be sufficient availability in formal campsites and that there are people with motorhomes that don’t want to stay in that kind of facility anyway.
“We have considered all of our coastal car parks and have identified locations where it would be acceptable to have a self-contained overnight stay where people basically sleep in the vehicle but don’t have items of equipment outside. The aim is to provide for a single night as a transit type activity.”
Northumberland County Council has engaged with key stakeholders to get feedback in recent weeks and now aims to submit planning applications for all three sites later in the autumn.
Mr Jones explained that the council is also trying to improve visitor facilities as part of the overall approach, with planning consent for a new small caravan and campsite within the Druridge Bay Country Park and a feasibility study being undertaken for a motor caravan facility at Amble Braid car park.
Mr Jones added: “It is expected that undertaking this pilot outside of the busy summer months will allow us to review the viability of the project on a smaller scale and allow for any improvements to the process as we progress.
“A formal review of the operation of the pilot scheme will be undertaken in advance of spring 2022 to assess the feasibility of continuing and expanding the trial during the summer months.
“We believe this is an opportunity to try and better regulate some of the problematic parking that we already know takes place in our car parks but is challenging to control using conventional enforcement methods.”
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