Action to prevent overnight parking sparks criticism

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Efforts to try to prevent overnight parking on the north Northumberland coast has sparked an angry response from residents and visitors.

Last week, the Gazette reported that Bamburgh Castle Estates had installed fencing to mark out parking bays in lay-bys on the Wynding in order to prevent camper vans and motorhomes from parking overnight – illegally as the land is private, beloning to the Estates.

Castle director Chris Calvert explained that there were concerns about people ‘using the dunes as toilets’ and flushing out waste into a sensitive landscape, adding that there are a number of campsites in the area.

However, it has led to criticism from a number of visitors, motorhome owners and Northumberland residents.

Commenting on the story on the Gazette website, Nick Pearce, a motorhomer, said: “When we go away, we tend to avoid campsites because once you are on the site you tend to miss a lot of what the area has to offer.”

He added: “A lot of modern-thinking councils provide Aires de Service where we can dispose of our waste. If none are available we use the facilities of a campsite, which obviously we pay for. We buy locally sourced food, local beers, local services be they fuel, gas, or whatever.

“So now, when we see what looks like profit-hungry campsite owners dictating the terms, we simply stay away.”

Paul Wibble said: “This is sad. The minority spoiling it for the many. I have a large motorhome and often park in a secluded spot.

“I think the problem is that motorhomes have got more popular.The problem is likley to get worse so serious thought needs to be given to it. Otherwise tensions will rise with inevitable consequenses.”

But not everyone agrees. On Facebook, Alex Sim said: “Ah poor campervaners, good on Bamburgh Castle Estates. Why should they get away with paying site fees, if they’re that bothered about costs, don’t bloody own a monstrosity like they are.”

In a letter to Bamburgh Parish Council, Mr JP Holland, from Newark describes himself as ‘a long-standing and regular visitor’. He ‘was appalled to discover the ugly, inadequate and inappropriate bays’.

“I do accept, both from the notices appended to the constructions and from my own experience that there is an issue with overnight parking of camper vans, but there must surely be a better way to tackle the problem than this,” he added.