Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

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PeterB
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Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

Post by PeterB »

( economicdevelopment@eastsuffolk.gov.uk - sent Sept 1st, 2021 )

Hello,


Yesterday I spent a wonderful few hours in the delightful town of Southwold, the shops and restaurants being so easy to meander and linger with so many nice things to purchase. Our few hours in Southwold was made possible due to forward thinking and progressive approach of the town to provide ten bays for motorhome day parking within two minutes’ walk of the pier.

Disappointingly I was not able to spend more than a few hours, we really would of enjoyed having the option to extend our stay spending longer in the shops and having an evening meal followed by breakfast in the town but unfortunately the parking regulations have been thus arranged so as to prevent this with no overnight parking listed as a contravention.

It’s a significant shame and missed opportunity, there are in excess of 250,000 registered motorhomes users in the UK, a good proportion are retired with disposable income. Southwold is such a lovely place and is missing out on income from one of the fastest market sector of tourists, i.e., motorhomes. All for the sake of not allowing overnight motorhome parking.

Motorhome owners don't need campsites with all the bells and whistles - toilets, shower blocks, clubhouses, play areas - just a place to park for one or two nights. An important aspect I should clarify is that motorhomes are fully self-contained units, no electricity or water services are required. Motorhome parking is not a campsite, in this context motorhome owners are not permitted to put out chairs, tables, awnings etc. It is simply parking. park up, pay for parking, and go walk into the city to enjoy the sites and hospitality and then return to vehicle to stay for the night and hopefully walk into to the following morning for more site seeing, breakfast and shopping.

Leveraging and encouraging motorhome tourism would have several benefits to Southwold:

• Extra parking revenue - surveys show motorhomers’ are prepared to pay £5 per overnight plus whatever is the standard charge for daytime parking. Better than the land standing empty overnight - car parks can raise revenue for 24 hours.

• Motorhomers’ spend, on average, more than £50 per night in local businesses such as shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs.

• The presence of a group of motorhomes parked up overnight can be an effective deterrent to criminals and anti-social behaviour.

• There are massive networking opportunities between motorhomers' social media groups and there would be lots of free advertising of the area as a tourist destination.

• We support the environment - many carry litter pickers and tidy up whatever we find around us. We do not make a mess.

• Over Europe there is an extensive network of motorhome 'Aires'. They encourage and their local businesses benefit from motorhome tourists spend.

I appreciate that there might be issues that could concern you but none of them is insurmountable. Canterbury has three such aires and they are delivering economic benefit for the council. They have tried and tested strategies for dealing with any potential issues that might arise and are happy to speak to anyone who would like to consider opening an aire – please visit www.campra.org.uk for contact details. Many other areas have also successful deployed aires and reaping the economic benefits.

Please check out the CAMpRA website www.campra.org.uk, where you will find lots of information on setting up an aire and the benefits they can bring. There is even a ready prepared strategy document.

Motorhome stopover parking would have no negative impact on local campsites, hotels and B&Bs as they are a different market. Without aires in the UK, motorhomers’ will simply continue to take their holidays and their money to Europe, and European motorhomers’ will probably not come here. We have information that Europeans are totally baffled and dismayed by the UK's lack of specific motorhome provision and are, overall, unwilling to pay the extortionate rates demanded by campsites.

Being receptive to a trial period of allowing overnight parking would be a fantastic start. I should appreciate it if you would consider supporting this opportunity and would be grateful if you would be receptive to a meeting to discuss further.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Peter Burton
GeorgeSalt
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Re: Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

Post by GeorgeSalt »

Might be worth referring to the council owned campsite by the harbour. There have been recent changes in the management of Southwold Harbour, and one of the stated aims on the website is to improve revenue generation from the campsite.

I'm booked for the campsite in October and will be eying up the available possibilities. If the council already has MH servicing facilities on the campsite it would make sense to encourage aire facilities in that vicinity. It's only a mile from the pier.
GeorgeSalt
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Re: Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

Post by GeorgeSalt »

The Southwold Harbour Management Committee are probably the ones to approach. Their remit includes the entire harbour area, including the campsite. It's not immediately obvious from Google Earth if there's a suitable plot for an aire alongside the campsite. It all looks a bit damp, and reading some of the minutes/reports in the harbour website there are a lot of concerns about flooding.

http://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/visitors/ ... d-harbour/
PeterB
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Re: Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

Post by PeterB »

Chaser email sent Sept 15th as no response to my previous.
GeorgeSalt
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Re: Southwold - Email to east Suffolk biz development regarding over night parking

Post by GeorgeSalt »

The names of the nine members of the Southwold Harbour Committee are given here:
https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/southwold-h ... nt-8020498

Working out who represents what interests should give a more useful target for an email than an anonymous general email address.
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