Call to prevent lay-by camping in Cornwall

Marazion beach by Colin Ward
Image caption Suzy Watts said her park is about 60% down on the peak-summer bookings

Calls have been made to tighten parking restrictions in west Cornwall to prevent dozens of caravan owners using lay-bys to camp for free.

Campsite owners in the area say though the people parking in lay-bys along Marazion are not breaking the law, the practice is ruining their businesses.

Suzy Watts, who owns Boscrege Caravan Park near Helston, has asked the parish council to change the parking rules.

The council said it was considering its options.

Mrs Watts said her park is about 60% down on the summer bookings, leading to thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

'Park anywhere'

Mrs Watts said: "Last week I was horrified to see more than 50 camper vans, parked up in the afternoon, all camping free of charge.

"We went back on Thursday and they were all still there. It's unfair for businesses trying to earn a living down here."

Su Nicolas, the councillor for Marazion, said she had been involved in discussions about the issue for more than 18 months, because of environmental implications.

She said: "I do have a great deal of sympathy with all the campsite owners in the area.

"These people are disposing of waste on the beach and on the RSPB site. We have had about 30 complaints from members of the public."

Posting on BBC Radio Cornwall's facebook page, Gaz Luty, a camper van owner said: "I have a VW camper, and when I go away for the night to a gig, I will park anywhere I please.

"I do not litter, nor create any problems, I also will not move unless the police threaten arrest. I am fully aware of what I can and cannot do."

Ian Geddes, from the Camping and Caravan Club, said: "Strictly speaking they shouldn't be doing it. The local police have the power to move them on. We'd rather motor home owners didn't do it."

In a statement Ludgvan Parish Council said it agreed that there should be restricted time parking and no overnight parking along the road but they do not want to see free parking options changed all together.

Richard Sergeant from Ludgvan Parish Council said the issue would be discussed at a meeting on 8 August.

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