Devon Council responses

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Stephen Peacock
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Devon Council responses

Post by Stephen Peacock »

Thanks Stephen

That’s really useful. I’ve been badgering the council for months if not years to sort something out- more interested in their own useless projects!

Any way I ‘ve forwarded on to officers to see if it can stimulate some action.

Julian Brazil cllr

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Stephen Peacock
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Re: Devon Council responses

Post by Stephen Peacock »

Dear Mr Peacock

Thank you for your email regarding Motor Caravans and where they should be staying when visiting the West Country.

As a member of the Caravan Club of many years standing and the operator of a Caravan Club site I am afraid I have to disagree with your comments. Not only do motorcaravans require drinking water and chemical waste disposal facilities but they also require physical waste facilities. All of which are provided on a commercial site at no cost to the local taxpayer.

In my view many motorhomes are far too large to use our town centre and rural car parks and are too large for on-street parking. I am not convinced that they bring much trade to our communities here in the West Country, as often as not they stock up at supermarkets near their home and if they do any shopping locally they tend to use large supermarkets where they can park for free.

As far as the continental style Aires are concerned, I have no idea who would provide a such free service or where it would go in this part of the world. I also strongly suspect that any such provision would end up being costly for local taxpayers and also attract undesirable elements.

Here in Devon, we have some of the finest touring caravan parks in the UK and in my view that is where motorcaravans should pitch up for the night. They are also friendly, flexible for bookings and very good value and do actually put money back into our local community.

I am sorry we will have to disagree on this issue.

Kind regards

Alistair Dewhirst

Cllr Alistair Dewhirst

Devon County & Teignbridge District Councillor

Liberal Democrat Member for Ipplepen & the Kerswells and Ipplepen Ward

My response

Thank you for your prompt response. I suspect that you are coming from a caravan and camp site direction rather than from motorhome perspective. Yes, motorhomes do need the use of a water supply or waste facilities but only every 3 or 4 days, certainly not every day.

Also, while not disputing the delights of Devon campsites they are not what many motorhome owners want or need. We generally prefer somewhere to park safely park overnight near a village or town so that we can use a local pub or restaurant. We are able to arrive, park and then walk away as easily as a car driver. We tend to be travelling all year, certainly when many campsites are closed. In summer many campsites are booked up well ahead and require stays of 3 nights or more. We only need somewhere to park often just for one night, it can be grass for much of the year, and yes, it would be wonderful if there were facilities but they are not needed everywhere.
Many towns and pubs already allow motorhomes to park overnight in their carparks recognising the trade they bring and not taking away parking from anyone else or costing anything extra.

I feel that your view is an unnecessarily gloomy one that is not helpful to the local businesses of Devon. Surely increased footfall and trade is what is needed in these times. As for "undesirable elements ", a barrier and a charge should deter these. If a small charge was made and enforced then this problem should not occur. My reading of " undesirable elements " is that they tend to park and stay irrespective of signage or ownership and are not a problem peculiar to Devon.

A quick look at the CAMpRA website will show the advantages 'aires' can bring to a town or village, giving many examples across the UK.

Again, thank you for your reponse and I hope this clarifies a few things.

Steve Peacock
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Re: Devon Council responses

Post by Steve »

This is not an unbiased view as he admits to running a campsite so wants to force us to use his campsite.

You could ask for evidence of his statement that “they often stock up at supermarkets at home”.

If he understands a motorcaravan he will know that there is very limited storage much less than a caravan and car.

The evidence from our surveys shows that:
Purchase food and supplies on tour 97%
Buy from local shops 92%
Eat out twice or more each week 82%
Spend Locally on food, drink and attractions £47
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
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