Search launched for suitable campervan and motorhome sites on Northumberland coast

Coastal councils in Northumberland are being asked to suggest potential sites for touring campervans, caravans and motorhomes.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 7:00 am

The approach has been made by the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership as it seeks a solution to the issues which blighted a number of coastal communities last summer.

Alnmouth Parish Council, which raised concerns about the influx, discussed the matter at its December meeting.

Chairman Shaun Whyte explained: “The AONB are quite keen to accommodate motorhomes if at all possible and are asking parish councils if they have areas known as aires where they can stay, possibly overnight, with facilities for the disposal of grey water or the provision of toilets, showers and fresh water.”

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Campervans parked at Alnmouth beach.

Cllr Susanne Gair doubted whether Alnmouth had any suitable sites.

“People who are touring want to wake up to a lovely view so they want to be down by the beach,” she said.

She said the only place she could think of that might be appropriate is a large council lay-by between Alnmouth and Boulmer that is currently used for storing grit.

"I don’t think motorhomes and caravans are going to want to spend the night there though, that is going to be the problem,” she said. “It’s not just finding a space, it’s finding a space where they are going to want to be.”

Members were told the village burgage holders were preparing a plan to accommodate campervans in some capacity. It was agreed to approach them for further information.

Cllr Whyte also explained that the AONB would consider the suitability of sites against a set of landscape principles.

“They say priority should be given to existing car parks or those which can be adapted before any new sites are considered,” he said. “They also suggest that parked vans should not dominate any view of the landscape, for example, breaking the horizon or seascape views. For Alnmouth, that is a problem.”

Meanwhile, complaints about dog dirt on the High Buston Dunes track that was closed by Northumberland Estates last summer have been received by the parish council. It plans to purchase a dog waste bin but the AONB has objected. It was agreed to speak to Northumberland Estates about an alternative site.

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