A pilot scheme creating designated sites for campervans and motorhomes with paid-for permits is set to be launched before the end of July.
The move comes two years after the States Assembly adopted propositions to draw up a list of designated sites and create a permit system.
The proposals had been brought forward in March 2019 by Senator Steve Pallett after the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis implemented '12 in 24' parking restrictions on coastal campers at Le Port “to deter vehicles from being left overnight or longer" and improve beach access for islanders.
Since last September, parking at the popular spot in St Ouen’s Bay (although Le Port is actually in St. Peter) has been illegal from 23:00 to 05:00, following persistent complaints about noise, fires, litter and drinking, with anyone who does not comply facing a £75 fine.
On 12 April 2021, Deputy Lewis and officers from the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE) department presented proposals for an overnight motorhome and campervan permit scheme to the Comité des Connétables.
Pictured: Permits would be issued on an annual basis.
According to the minutes of the meeting, the scheme will only be open to islanders with personal campervan or motorhomes which are registered with Driver and Vehicle Standards (DVS).
It will be limited to designated sites, each of which will have a limited number of spaces available.
To stay overnight on these sites, islanders will have to book their stay on the same day via the Planning Department web site.
They will also have to apply for an annual permit and pay a fee. The permits will have to be displayed in the vehicle window and would be subject to conditions; any breach of which would result in the permit being cancelled.
A number of potential sites have already been identified and assessed for feasibility, and all are located in car parks where there is currently a ’12 in 24 hour’ parking restriction.
During the meeting with the Constables, it was decided that a pilot scheme would first be launched, along with a consultation, before a wider scheme is introduced. The Constables of St. Peter, Richard Vibert, and St. Ouen, Richard Buchanan, agreed to identify suitable sites for the pilot but the Government has declined to confirm what those are.
Express understand the pilot scheme and the consultation could be launched at the end of July.
Paul Hymas, who has been campaigning for regulated areas for motorhomes around the island since 2018, said he had been surprised to learn the pilot would involve fees to avoid “undercutting” local camping sites.
“We were told it would be something along the lines of dog licences,” he explained.
He also said that, along with the camping community, he was disappointed at the lack of consultation with the Infrastructure department, as no one had been contacted about the scheme, as well as the lack of progress over the last two years.
“They are working towards the end of July but this could easily be postponed,” he said. “This time last year, we were thinking ‘it will be sorted next year’… It just feels like it’s never going to happen.
“It kind of feels like people have given up. I certainly haven’t but it just feels like nobody is getting anywhere and they do not expect anything to happen.”
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