We understand that East Devon District Council’s cabinet have voted in favour of the scheme to allow motorhomes to stay overnight in certain allocated parking areas in Exmouth.
The pilot scheme, which could be in place for Easter 2018 and run for two summer seasons, would offer stays of up to three nights, via up to 30 pitches in the Queen’s Drive Echelon car park, up to 20 in the Imperial Recreation Ground car park, and up to 20 in the Maer Road car park.
The scheme relies on new on-street parking restrictions being imposed on Queen’s Drive by Devon County Council, which is expected to happen.
Andrew Ennis, the District Council’s service lead for environmental health and car parks, told the cabinet: “Exmouth welcomes motorhome and campervan owners, they don’t want to send a strong message they are not welcome, so if you are visiting Exmouth for the day you are allowed to park there. The issue is people camping, staying two or three days or even longer, taking up seafront parking.
“We are not trying to attract any more campervans or motorhomes to Exmouth. This is about the problem we have already.
“We haven’t done this before, it is a pilot, it’s likely to return a bit of money but until we try it we don’t know.”
Councillor Bill Nash said: “Residents of Exmouth welcome this pilot scheme. We’re not turning car parks into a campsite, so no awnings, no barbecuing, no washing out on lines.”
Speaking from the public gallery, Kay Foster, an Exmouth resident who has lobbied councillors on the issue, thanked them for the work they have done, but asked why all the spaces were being allocated to Exmouth.
She said: “I notice that Exmouth is the only town that is going to have motorhomes in car parks. Why can’t they be divided between car parks in Budleigh, Sidmouth and Seaton? Exmouth isn’t the only place with a seafront.”
In response, Mr Ennis said that the campervan issue had been directly raised by councillors as an Exmouth problem, but said Seaton and Budleigh were ‘interested’ in the outcome of the pilot scheme.