Calpe wel­comes ‘camper­ban’

Town hall fi­nally ap­proves by­law ban­ning camper­vans from park­ing overnight at the road­side

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Jack Troughton

CAMPERS vis­it­ing Calpe face fines if they at­tempt to take a cheap hol­i­day and stay overnight at the road­side.

The town hall has rub­ber­stamped a new by­law – first pro­posed ahead of the sum­mer – fol­low­ing a pe­riod of pub­lic leg­is­la­tion in the hope of keep­ing valu­able park­ing spa­ces clear and per­suade campers to of­fi­cial sites.

And the lo­cal leg­is­la­tion not only af­fects so-called ‘glam­pers’ with camper­vans and car­a­vans; but also boat trail­ers, gen­eral trans­port trail­ers and agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cles.

The town hall was in­un­dated with com­plaints from res­i­dents over peo­ple set­ting up a tem­po­rary home in the re­sort – emp­ty­ing chem­i­cal toi­lets in the street or in key ar­eas of nat­u­ral beauty, leav­ing rub­bish at the road­side, and even break­ing into elec­tric­ity boxes and wa­ter sys­tems “for a free­bie”.

Pass­ing the new law has proved con­tro­ver­sial; op­po­si­tion par­ties voted against the govern­ment team – one party even con­tact­ing the Span­ish car­a­van club, which has ad­vised car­a­van­ers across Europe to by-pass Calpe.

An an­gry Coun­cil­lor Ca­role Saun­ders said, “That is an ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous po­si­tion to take af­ter all the com­plaints about them emp­ty­ing toi­lets around Las Sali­nas, break­ing into elec­tric­ity boxes for a free­bie and wa­ter sys­tems.

“It will not put off peo­ple with camper­vans and car­a­vans com­ing here; we have had camp­ing sites in Calpe for over 20 years and they are vis­ited by peo­ple who come back year af­ter year – the newer sites are pos­i­tively lux­u­ri­ous.”

She said the by­law meant peo­ple could not park overnight but were free to stay by the road­side dur­ing the day, just like any car. “If they are parked overnight they are ob­vi­ously sleep­ing in­side; that’s il­le­gal across the coun­try.”

Po­lice will also take ac­tion to en­force the new law against peo­ple on hol­i­day leav­ing boat trail­ers, busi­nesses leav­ing lorry trail­ers and agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cles. “In many ar­eas they are tak­ing up pre­cious park­ing spa­ces.”

The new law was wel­comed on Tues­day by mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of For­eign Prop­erty Own­ers who have cam­paigned for ac­tion for some years.

Pres­i­dent Keith Wild­man said, “My main ob­jec­tion about car­a­vans and camper­vans is when I want to visit my favourite restau­rants on the beach and there are these ve­hi­cles tak­ing up at least two park­ing spa­ces.

“The new leg­is­la­tion means they will not be park­ing overnight – but that’s not a com­plete an­swer. How­ever this town has seven camp­ing sites for them to use.”

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