Campervan Chef Supports Overnight Parking

A TV chef has joined in a battle between residents and campervan enthusiasts in the surfing capital of the UK.

Residents in the Pentire district of Newquay have long been accustomed to the sight of campervans parked up on Esplanade Road but have for years objected to them parking up overnight with the occupants sleeping inside. After weeks of deliberation the council have decided to ban parking overnight and while residents and hoteliers on the road are delighted, the surfing and camping community certainly are not.

Martin Dorey, the presenter of BBC food show ‘One Man and his Campervan’ believes towns are losing out on cash by insisting vehicles covered with campervan insurance do not park overnight. He said: “There are about 150,000 motorhomes in the country – plus campervans – and the occupants tend to shop, eat and drink locally as well as pay money for overnight parking. Councils can decide to make overnight parking illegal but I think they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Overnight parking can bring money in and, unlike many campsites, these car parks are often in great locations, so why not. Campervan owners often don’t want to stay on a campsite, that’s part of the appeal and fun of a campervan, but we risk missing out altogether unless things change because they will go off to Europe, where they embrace campervan culture.”

In fact Newquay car parks have long since banned overnight parking in the town centre and Esplanade Road which runs alongside the world famous Fistral Beach is just a normal road that happens to be adjacent to one of the best beaches in the world. For years surfers have changed in their campervans and run down to the sea but residents say more and more campervan owners are living in the vans for days on end and using the street drains as a toilet, a spokesman for the local residents committee described it as a “major problem”.

Greg Martin, from surfing magazine Wavelength, said “I think there were a couple of complaints from residents that people were staying overnight and not looking after the place which isn’t acceptable, but it is a shame that it’s ruined it for everyone now.”