GMB: Caravan 'curfew' plans slammed by Sonia Evans
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In August, North Norfolk District Council said the increase in illegal wild camping was because of the increasing numbers of caravan and motorhome owners. Wild camping is when people set up camp outside of a campsite or caravan park.
It is technically illegal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland.
According to the Eastern Daily Press, caravan owners were blamed for wild camping in car parks across North Norfolk and blocking public toilets by incorrectly disposing of waste.
The council said it had received requests to provide ‘motorhome aire’ facilities – stopover spots which are popular in Europe.
These are mostly public parking areas and some private land where motorhome and caravan users may stop overnight for free or for a small fee.
Caravan experts, Alan Rogers, said there are over 11,500 aires across Europe, with many of them being free.
The Campaign for Real Aires (CAMpRA) was launched to encourage spending in the local economy through the provisions of aires.
They aim to provide safe, overnight parking spaces for motorhomes, caravans and campervans, while also driving “the recovery of the British economy by encouraging staycations”.
The council felt the needs of motorhome visitors could not be met by the large number of campsites in the area.
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Despite this, leisure vehicle owners have said the lack of facilities is costing the local tourism industry.
Jerry Bart, 69, from Honingham near Norfolk, has owned a motorhome for 15 years and said the vehicles and their waste disposal should be accommodated for, just as boats on Norfolk’s waterways are.
He said: “The whole point of having aires is that it’s a health and safety benefit because what’s happening in the UK is that you’re forcing motorhome owners to use public toilets, or worse, and aires are not that expensive.
“I feel the whole attitude of local councils needs to change – we’re all citizens of the UK.”
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