Camper van parking ban to be lifted from Sidmouth’s town centre car parks

Marlene Coachman and Helen Gibson-West with their camper vans. Ref shs 3484-08-15TI. Picture: Terry

Marlene Coachman and Helen Gibson-West with their camper vans. Ref shs 3484-08-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A U-turn on a decision to ban camper van parking in Sidmouth town centre car parks has been hailed ‘a victory for common sense’ by campaigners.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has approved a recommendation to ease restrictions on the vehicles in the face of strong opposition from local van owners who use the vehicles as every-day transport.

Russell Street resident Helen Gibson-West spearheaded the campaign to lift what she called ‘draconian measures’ and says this is a positive result, although it does not go far enough.

Under new terms, which come into force on March 19, the ban on camper vans in the town centre car parks will be replaced by permitted parking between 8am and 10pm.

Anna Thompson, 47, is a van owner from near Aylesbeare and regularly visits Sidmouth.

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“We are really pleased. It seems they are actually listening to common sense,” she said.

“It is still disappointing because it stops at 10pm, which is fine for many residents, but a bit restrictive for those of us who want to use their cars to go to the cinema or something.

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“We have asked if they will extend it until 11 or 12 o’clock, as having a curfew on our evening is a bit annoying. It’s great in the sense that it actually seems EDDC does want the visitors to come. It’s a victory for common sense.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “The revised policy will still recommend that motorhomes use the car parks initially designated for their use. However, it will also allow motorhome owners to park in any EDDC pay and display car parks between 8am-10pm.

“Overnight parking of motorhomes and camper vans in East Devon car parks will continue to be prohibited.”

The new rules cannot be implemented until Thursday, March 19, at 9am, so could potentially still be subject to review by the overview and scrutiny committee.

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