Brakes on campervan bylaw
Calpe new rules hit 'big problem'
MOVES to help control the problem of wild camping on the streets of a Costa Blanca resort have hit a “big problem”.
Calpe town hall is introducing a new bylaw to ban overnight roadside camping to end a historic problem following complaints from residents and businesses.
People not only objected to the loss of valuable parking spaces to the large vehicles, they were also discovered to be an environmental nuisance such as emptying chemical toilets at the roadside, placing generators on the pavement and hanging out washing.
As a result, the council voted it would outlaw parking campervans, caravans, trailers, agricultural and construction vehicles on the roads at night; from 8pm in winter and 9pm in summer.
It was hoped the change would encourage campervan owners visiting Calpe to use official campsites.
However, when the move was opened for public comment as part of the local authority’s transparency compliance commitment, Calpe residents raised concerns.
Councillor Carole Saunders, in charge of transparency at the town hall, said people living in Calpe were concerned about parking their own motorhomes – which were fully legal with insurance and taxed.
“I have spoken with the mayor and said we have a big problem over people whose only vehicle here is a campervan and what they should do if they want to come into town at night socially, to go to the theatre or meet friends,” she said. “It would mean they were outside the ‘curfew’.
“Also there are owners who are unable to park their vehicle off the road because there is not room at their apartment block.”
Mrs Saunders said the consultation was seen as ‘good practice’ and took place before bylaws finally entered the statute book or any decision was ratified – the parking situation will be back before the council later this month.
“It will not become law until after final approval is given – we may now have to change the wording and include a clause about Calpe residents,” she said.
One solution could be for the town hall to issue residents’ permits for the vehicles – visible to police who would have to enforce the new legislation.
“We will also have to investigate what happens if you are using an official campsite but want to use your campervan to get into town at night for whatever reason,” added the councillor.
“It is not going to please people but we are fairly certain it doesn’t affect that many people – it is just unfortunate.”