This story has an update: Gwynedd Council approves £100,000 pilot to establish six ‘aires’. Stay updated with the the Van Life Matters newsletter.
Plans to allow campervans and motorhomes to stay overnight on some Gwynedd Council car parks have come up against criticism.
A council cabinet was held today (November 9) to discuss a report recommending the establishment of the six pilot areas.
The report notes that the county’s existing caravan sites have been struggling with capacity issues amid the recent ‘staycation boom’.
It’s hoped that the aires will help reduce the dumping of litter and human waste reported in the area.
The short-stay stopovers will offer basic of facilities including waste disposal and water.
Related: Gwynedd Council car parks could soon allow overnight stopovers for campervans – Van Life Matters
Matthew Gould, who works at Beddgelert Campsite, said: “If this plan goes ahead then we will lose quite a lot of our trade. It will be a big hit.
“A lot of campervans come here for a couple of nights after having wild camped for a few days, then they come here for the proper facilities such as water and electricity.
“I think it would also have a damaging effect on Beddgelert if the campervans park in council car parks not so close by and so the local economy could suffer.
“I think what definitely needs to be done is encourage more campervan owners to book ahead as we were full to capacity for months this year.
“Some people seem to think they can get a spot on a site just by turning up which just isn’t the case these days.”
Another caravan site owner, whose not been named, said: “I would suggest if someone can afford a £40,000 campervan or motorhome, they can afford £20 to stay on a site with proper facilities.
“As well as taking away revenue from our sites, it would surely mean taking car park spaces, and the motorhome owners will have awnings and deckchairs spread over the car parks and take up even more space.”
However Chris Mead, owner of Sunnysands Caravan Park in Barmouth, said the plan was a great idea.
Mr Mead, a motorhome himself said: “I honestly think Gwynedd has the right idea about this
“We should be doing what France is doing as we are way behind in this country.
“Not everyone wants to pay £20 for a site, so having a cheaper designated place with facilities such as the council car parks would surely mean there would be less dumping of human waste and rubbish.”
Jim Jones, the boss of North Wales Tourism, is also positive about the idea.
He said: “During lockdown there was a huge increase in the number of campervans purchased.
They have to go somewhere.
“Now we know that there needs to be provision for them.
“Personally, I think it’s a huge opportunity for campsites and caravan parks to embrace the potential for new sites to be developed including council car parks at a fee of course.”
Are you for or against the Gwynedd Council plans? Share your comments below.
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