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View Full Version : Virtual end to "aires" experient at Hayling Island, Hampshire



Convert
11-06-2012, 14:38
Not sure if this should just be in the Hampshire section or seen more widely as I guess it's fallout has larger implications. Also, apologies if its been covered previously and I haven't found it!


As I'm sure some will be aware overnighting in a motorhome became "legal" at West Beach car park, Hayling island last year for a fee of £10. As reported here...(amongst other info about blue badge holders) Hayling News : Seafront car park ‘becoming a cheap holiday destination’ (http://www.hayling.co.uk/news/story1438.html)...after complaints of a reduction in takings by local campsite owners that fee is to be increased on 1st July to £20. As I understand it the fee only covers the period 2200-0800 so if you wanted to turn up at say 6pm you would have to pay £4 extra for the daytime parking and if you stayed until 11am the next next day that would be another £3 making a total of £27 for your stay. That makes it effectively one of the most expensive camp sites in county for what is essentially a stay in a car park.

This is such a shame; Hayling West beach is never going to make it onto your list of all time most beautiful spots but it was a useful place to be able to stay, especially for kite and windsurfers or swimmers and £10 seemed realistic. £20 (plus the extra) is just too expensive for most to justify. I think if the local sites that complained think that I'll be hot footing it to their sites instead they are sadly mistaken. If I was them I'd be taking a look at the sorry tail of poor reviews online for their sites and addressing those issues first. It is also a shame the council could not let the "aires" concept run longer and a decision like this is not going to encourage other councils to consider a similar scheme.

John H
11-06-2012, 14:45
......and consequently, I and many, many others will be spending our money in France and beyond. The short-sightedness of the Brits never fails to astound me. :wacko:

Skar
11-06-2012, 16:10
"It comes after local caravan site owners complained the car park was undercutting their prices and they were losing business."

Nothing to do with the weather then... idiots.

I've never been to Hayling Island and was going to give it a try this year, I'll not bother now and will spend my money in France as usual.

afl777
11-06-2012, 16:29
It seems to me that between councils protecting against travelers setting up camp and campsites laying down the law an awful lot of useful little places have been closed off.

Ange

sss
11-06-2012, 16:48
It is always a shame when holidays happen abroad, after all it does not help the UK economy. Although it is easy to understand why.

That aside, and getting back on topic, part of the problem is trying to convince local authorities about the benefits of aires. I think that there is a definite market for something between 'wild camping' and CS/L's and that could be filled by aires. The problem you have is convincing authorities about the benefits. Most councils are in financial dire straights and are generally unwilling to spend money to make a small income or boost local tourism.

The other issue 'we' have is there is no one to fight our corner and show the benefits of aires. The big clubs C&CC and CC are not interested in aires as they have their own sites. They also believe as do local campsites that aires will take away their own income. As we know that is not the case.

So who fights for aires?

I have written to my local authority and got nowhere. One man writing in achieves nothing, what is needed is a bigger voice. It needs a coordinate response and a package that can be presented to show the benefits that can be reaped for what can be very little effort. That presented to appropriate council officials, MP's and tourism groups then there may be a fighting chance of getting more aires. This will help get the tourist pound back in to the UK economy. Alas without a bigger and united voice we will not get anything to out benefit. This is a prime example where the campsites have a bigger voice than motorhomers.

John H
11-06-2012, 16:57
It is always a shame when holidays happen abroad, after all it does not help the UK economy. Although it is easy to understand why.

That aside, and getting back on topic, part of the problem is trying to convince local authorities about the benefits of aires. I think that there is a definite market for something between 'wild camping' and CS/L's and that could be filled by aires. The problem you have is convincing authorities about the benefits. Most councils are in financial dire straights and are generally unwilling to spend money to make a small income or boost local tourism.

The other issue 'we' have is there is no one to fight our corner and show the benefits of aires. The big clubs C&CC and CC are not interested in aires as they have their own sites. They also believe as do local campsites that aires will take away their own income. As we know that is not the case.

So who fights for aires?

I have written to my local authority and got nowhere. One man writing in achieves nothing, what is needed is a bigger voice. It needs a coordinate response and a package that can be presented to show the benefits that can be reaped for what can be very little effort. That presented to appropriate council officials, MP's and tourism groups then there may be a fighting chance of getting more aires. This will help get the tourist pound back in to the UK economy. Alas without a bigger and united voice we will not get anything to out benefit. This is a prime example where the campsites have a bigger voice than motorhomers.

I suspect that we might be banging our heads against the wrong brick wall here. I doubt that we will get very far by approaching local councils - for the reasons you state and many others too. I have always thought that it might be better to approach the supermarkets in the first instance because there is no doubt that the many aires in French supermarkets do attract additional custom and the expense involved is minimal (zero if you start off with a simple overnight parking space and no services). The trouble is that when we approach them as individuals it is easy for them to ignore us, so maybe there is a role for groups like WC4M to start the ball rolling. The advantage, to my mind, of such an approach is that supermarkets, unlike local councils, don't operate on the basis of needing to convince the majority of the electorate in order to take action (and as you say, there is no chance of us doing that!); supermarkets just need to be convinced that some of us will shop there when otherwise we might not have - and that we will cause them no harm and leave no mess. Thoughts?

snowbirds
11-06-2012, 18:49
Hi Convert,

Hayling Island, why bother they don't want our money, if you have been there once why go again,You can pop over the channel free Aires good food and wine no problems. It's like most short minded councils, we don't want this we don't want that, trying to make a name for their self. Aires will never take on in this country while you don't have live and let live attitude to life.I try to give every place I go to a chance, and still return to place's of out standing beauty like Scotland, Yorkshire,Dartmoor, but if you are up your self I don't return. LIFE IS TO SHORT 66 Tomorrow, no cakes or candles.

Keep traveling Snowbirds.:cool1::cool1:





Not sure if this should just be in the Hampshire section or seen more widely as I guess it's fallout has larger implications. Also, apologies if its been covered previously and I haven't found it!


As I'm sure some will be aware overnighting in a motorhome became "legal" at West Beach car park, Hayling island last year for a fee of £10. As reported here...(amongst other info about blue badge holders) Hayling News : Seafront car park ‘becoming a cheap holiday destination’ (http://www.hayling.co.uk/news/story1438.html)...after complaints of a reduction in takings by local campsite owners that fee is to be increased on 1st July to £20. As I understand it the fee only covers the period 2200-0800 so if you wanted to turn up at say 6pm you would have to pay £4 extra for the daytime parking and if you stayed until 11am the next next day that would be another £3 making a total of £27 for your stay. That makes it effectively one of the most expensive camp sites in county for what is essentially a stay in a car park.

This is such a shame; Hayling West beach is never going to make it onto your list of all time most beautiful spots but it was a useful place to be able to stay, especially for kite and windsurfers or swimmers and £10 seemed realistic. £20 (plus the extra) is just too expensive for most to justify. I think if the local sites that complained think that I'll be hot footing it to their sites instead they are sadly mistaken. If I was them I'd be taking a look at the sorry tail of poor reviews online for their sites and addressing those issues first. It is also a shame the council could not let the "aires" concept run longer and a decision like this is not going to encourage other councils to consider a similar scheme.

Convert
11-06-2012, 19:00
I suspect my use of Hayling would be very different to yours. West beach is one of the best windsurf and kitsurfing sites on the south coast of England - it's also only 15miles south of where I live! I tend to use it as a close location to sail after work or on a quick weekend trip and being able to stay overnight means I can have a beer or two, use the local pub/restaurant and socialise after a sailing. It's not a destination location of me. Sadly popping over the channel after work to use a free aires is not really on :)

Smaug
11-06-2012, 20:49
I suspect that we might be banging our heads against the wrong brick wall here. I doubt that we will get very far by approaching local councils - for the reasons you state and many others too. I have always thought that it might be better to approach the supermarkets in the first instance because there is no doubt that the many aires in French supermarkets do attract additional custom and the expense involved is minimal (zero if you start off with a simple overnight parking space and no services). The trouble is that when we approach them as individuals it is easy for them to ignore us, so maybe there is a role for groups like WC4M to start the ball rolling. The advantage, to my mind, of such an approach is that supermarkets, unlike local councils, don't operate on the basis of needing to convince the majority of the electorate in order to take action (and as you say, there is no chance of us doing that!); supermarkets just need to be convinced that some of us will shop there when otherwise we might not have - and that we will cause them no harm and leave no mess. Thoughts?

My thought is that they may need planning permission (change of use from parking to camping) or even face complaints from nearby residents equating motorhomes to "traveller camps". Supermarkets as likely to be as ultra-sensitive to critcism as councils.

Asking local managers is unlikely to get results, we would need to approach the top honcho somehow & make a case to him/ her so that an edict could be issued recommending local managers to consider how they might implement the idea. Any one know the chairmen of Tescos, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Waitrose, the Co-op, Aldi or Lidl?

Firefox
11-06-2012, 21:47
I believe the Chairman of Tescos used to be a motorhomer. No longer though, that's probably why they are going downhill :lol-053:

Supermarkets will generally let you stay in their carpark if you ask. As my van does not stand out I just do it anyway, if there is plenty of space. There's often a petrol station attached with a tap if you need water and the biggest ones will have toilets in the store for those who don't like using their van toilet.

Buddieandco
11-06-2012, 22:10
I suspect that we might be banging our heads against the wrong brick wall here. I doubt that we will get very far by approaching local councils - for the reasons you state and many others too. I have always thought that it might be better to approach the supermarkets in the first instance because there is no doubt that the many aires in French supermarkets do attract additional custom and the expense involved is minimal (zero if you start off with a simple overnight parking space and no services). The trouble is that when we approach them as individuals it is easy for them to ignore us, so maybe there is a role for groups like WC4M to start the ball rolling. The advantage, to my mind, of such an approach is that supermarkets, unlike local councils, don't operate on the basis of needing to convince the majority of the electorate in order to take action (and as you say, there is no chance of us doing that!); supermarkets just need to be convinced that some of us will shop there when otherwise we might not have - and that we will cause them no harm and leave no mess. Thoughts?

I had planned to write re this subject..Coops are community minded and tend to have a local presence, certainly in Scotland. It may well be that several requests/suggestions from individuals may just help raise awareness if nothing else. That or we create our own Aire as an example! My garden is not quite big enough though..
Catherine

Kontiki
11-06-2012, 22:11
I don't think we will ever get anything like the aires/stellplatz areas that we enjoy so much in France & Germany. It's a bit pathetic when we have to resort to paces such as supermarket car parks or car parks where we are being asked to pay £10 to sleep overnight then move on (what are any of these car park used for at night anyway?) Anything more than a fiver to sleep overnight is a rip off, I don't have a problem if I have to pay for water but dumping should be provided & free.

I'll take my chances wildcamping, staying in pleasant locations usually a bit off the beaten track.

Firefox
11-06-2012, 22:31
Motorhome magazines kind of rely on the industry to provide them with complimentary vans and sites to review. Plus there is the advertising as you say.

They are basically hand in glove; it's a very cozy arrangement. The whole magazine is just one big advertising feature, even the "content" pages. You can bet when something gets reviewed it will get between 3.5 and 5 out of five stars. I'd like to see them telling the truth and giving them 1 or 2 stars sometimes, advising us not to buy this van or visit that site.

Wilding or self builds are kind of alien to the concept and rarely get mentioned, although I have seen a couple of half hearted 1 page self build articles in MMM. They are usually accompanied by big warnings that you shouldn't really attempt it unless you know exactly what you are doing! Far better to buy a new motorhome and feather the nests of their sponsors :raofl:

John H
12-06-2012, 09:53
My thought is that they may need planning permission (change of use from parking to camping) or even face complaints from nearby residents equating motorhomes to "traveller camps". Supermarkets as likely to be as ultra-sensitive to critcism as councils.

Asking local managers is unlikely to get results, we would need to approach the top honcho somehow & make a case to him/ her so that an edict could be issued recommending local managers to consider how they might implement the idea. Any one know the chairmen of Tescos, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Waitrose, the Co-op, Aldi or Lidl?

Hi

If they simply allow motorhomes to park overnight and not put out any gear that might be construed as "camping" then I cannot see that planning permission would be needed (unless, of course, there is a time constraint on the car park in the original planning permission). This is the way aires operate in, for example, Spain - and in the UK there is no law against sleeping in vehicles.

If they start providing services such as water supply and dumping, then permission would be needed, so perhaps it is best in the first instance just to go for permission to park overnight (cheaper for them too!).

I agree with your point about going to the top. Does anyone know whether Super-U or Leclerc are part of a group that includes UK supermakets? Those two are particularly good at providing aires in France - when we stayed at the Leclerc aire in Lourdes there were 40 other vans!

On a general point, I'm glad to see the point has raised interest and there have been some very good points raised - thanks to all but how about a response from Admin as to whether or not an "official" group approach would be a good idea?

AndyC
12-06-2012, 17:05
If they simply allow motorhomes to park overnight and not put out any gear that might be construed as "camping" then I cannot see that planning permission would be needed (unless, of course, there is a time constraint on the car park in the original planning permission). This is the way aires operate in, for example, Spain - and in the UK there is no law against sleeping in vehicles.
With a few exceptions, a caravan site licence is required for land on which a caravan is stationed for the purposes of human habitation. 'Caravan' includes vehicles constructed or adapted for human habitation. Planning permission for change of use may also be required.

One of the exceptions to the site licence requirement is for local authority controlled land, for this reason I think that the best approach is direct to local authorities.

AndyC

John H
13-06-2012, 08:13
With a few exceptions, a caravan site licence is required for land on which a caravan is stationed for the purposes of human habitation. 'Caravan' includes vehicles constructed or adapted for human habitation. Planning permission for change of use may also be required.

One of the exceptions to the site licence requirement is for local authority controlled land, for this reason I think that the best approach is direct to local authorities.

AndyC

I think we are talking at cross purposes here, Andy. The point I was answering was about planning permission, which I do not believe would be necessary. If a licence is needed then a large chain of supermarkets would be able to get and operate that licence at very little effort to them and with a great deal of potentially positive publicity (although probably a lot of oppositiion from the Caravan Club etc!).

I would still be interested to hear from Admin about whether or not we could approach the supermarkets as a body - which I think would have far more weight than the individual approaches many of us have already made.

John Thompson
13-06-2012, 10:54
This forum is also an exempted organisation like the Caravan Club (CC) and Caravan and Camping Club (C&CC) or Motor Caravanners'Club (MCC). MCC are co-operating with Practical Motorhome Magazine to provind "Night Stops" that are 5 van CLs. MCC allow non members to use their CL network unlike the CC and C&CC.

We have to get ourselves organised to get a paragraph 5 exemption as well. That way we too could approch supermarkets etc and offer to set up LEGAL stopping places on their store carparks. Minimum facilities are: A supply of Drinking water (this is already on sale in the store) and toilet dump. 5 vans max on a store carpark overnight would not be too much to ask for.

At least one other forum has paragraph 5 exemption and has set up a CL for its members use. So it is possible not just pie in the sky talk.

In this country a local authority can take action against a person or persons who reside in a Motor Vehicle.


Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
1994 c. 33Part V Powers to remove unauthorised campers Section 77

Power of local authority to direct unauthorised campers to leave land.

(1)If it appears to a local authority that persons are for the time being residing in a vehicle or vehicles within that authority’s area—.
(a)on any land forming part of a highway;.
(b)on any other unoccupied land; or.
(c)on any occupied land without the consent of the occupier,.
the authority may give a direction that those persons and any others with them are to leave the land and remove the vehicle or vehicles and any other property they have with them on the land.
(2)Notice of a direction under subsection (1) must be served on the persons to whom the direction applies, but it shall be sufficient for this purpose for the direction to specify the land and (except where the direction applies to only one person) to be addressed to all occupants of the vehicles on the land, without naming them.
(3)If a person knowing that a direction under subsection (1) above has been given which applies to him—.
(a)fails, as soon as practicable, to leave the land or remove from the land any vehicle or other property which is the subject of the direction, or.
(b)having removed any such vehicle or property again enters the land with a vehicle within the period of three months beginning with the day on which the direction was given,.
he commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(4)A direction under subsection (1) operates to require persons who re-enter the land within the said period with vehicles or other property to leave and remove the vehicles or other property as it operates in relation to the persons and vehicles or other property on the land when the direction was given..
(5)In proceedings for an offence under this section it is a defence for the accused to show that his failure to leave or to remove the vehicle or other property as soon as practicable or his re-entry with a vehicle was due to illness, mechanical breakdown or other immediate emergency..
(6)In this section—.
“land” means land in the open air;
“local authority” means—

(a) in Greater London, a London borough or the Common Council of the City of London;

(b) in England outside Greater London, a county council, a district council or the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(c) in Wales, a county council or a county borough council;

“occupier” person entitled to possession of the land by virtue of an estate or interest held by him;

“vehicle” includes—
(a) any vehicle, whether or not it is in a fit state for use on roads, and includes any body, with or without wheels, appearing to have formed part of such a vehicle, and any load carried by, and anything attached to, such a vehicle; and

(b) a caravan as defined in section 29(1) of the M1 Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960;

and a person may be regarded for the purposes of this section as residing on any land notwithstanding that he has a home elsewhere.

(7)Until 1st April 1996, in this section “local authority” means, in Wales, a county council or a district council.

This law is in addition to the limitations AndyC pointed out under the Caravan Sites and control of development Act 1960.

We need to make the 1960 Act work for us, by getting the whole raft of exemptions Para 4 5 and 6 (plus camping, under the Public Health Act 1937) not just para 6 for weekend rallies.

Formal Planning Permission is not required to set up a 5 van site under paragraph 5. Although consultation with the local authority is undertaken by the club issuing the exemption.

It can be done I have done it for 2 organisations.

John

wakk44
13-06-2012, 16:01
...................... Does anyone know whether Super-U or Leclerc are part of a group that includes UK supermakets? Those two are particularly good at providing aires in France - when we stayed at the Leclerc aire in Lourdes there were 40 other vans!..............



I think that supermarkets in the main towns and cities are becoming more motorhome unfriendly.In Caen last week we found height barriers at the LeClerc entrance and also at the filling station.:mad:

Perhaps the larger supermarkets have enough trade and do not need to rely on m/homers custom.

barryd
13-06-2012, 16:38
I just spent two nights on a small aire at a place called Richardmenil just a few miles outside of Nancy. 6 places, water, waste and Ehu. The cost I hear you say?




Are you ready?







Wait for it!







€0.00, FOC, ziltch!

Why? Well probably because Richardmenil is a one horse village with nothing much to offer (a bit like Hayling from memory) but there were 5 vans in both nights so I imagine this is regular. All spending locally and adding their cash to the local economy 7 days a week.

£20 for parking at Hayling. I think they are sending a message. Dont come, we don't want you. Ok. Message understood.

AndyC
13-06-2012, 19:01
We have to get ourselves organised to get a paragraph 5 exemption as well. That way we too could approch supermarkets etc and offer to set up LEGAL stopping places on their store carparks. Minimum facilities are: A supply of Drinking water (this is already on sale in the store) and toilet dump. 5 vans max on a store carpark overnight would not be too much to ask for.In fact I understand that there are no requirements for any minimal facilities on exempted sites. I found this out during a conversation with Natural England.

AndyC

John H
13-06-2012, 19:45
In this country a local authority can take action against a person or persons who reside in a Motor Vehicle.

John

But, as stated in the statute you quote, this only applies to the highway, to unoccupied land, or to occupied land without the owners consent. If the supermarkets were to agree, this statute would not apply. I appreciate the interest and comment this thread has generated but I feel we may be trying to make it more complicated than necessary.

The thing that depresses me is that, if indeed this site has an exemption, Admin has not taken part in this debate. If we could approach supermarkets on behalf of several thousand members we could stand a realistic chance of getting things moving. As an individual, all I can claim to do is represent the ten people who agreed with my original post. A bit sad really.

John Thompson
14-06-2012, 09:27
In fact I understand that there are no requirements for any minimal facilities on exempted sites. I found this out during a conversation with Natural England.

AndyC

Thanks for that Andy.

I found out that a drinking water tap was not a requirement from Natural England, but they stated that a drinking water supply must be provided. This was why I said the water could be available instore.

I was looking at certificating a site (Naturist club) that used rain water catchment as a means of water for toilets and showers. Users brought their own drinking water in containers. The officer at Natural England said that if there was a supply of bottled drinking water made available for visitors (no stipulation that it was free) they could see no problems with certificating the site. The site (club) however would not comply with the requirement of allowing any member of the certificating organisation to visit, so they didn't get the exemption. I think they were trying to get around PP for caravans for their own member use.

Interesting that Natural England were not insisting on black waste disposal facilities. In conversation they have always stipulated this to me.


Paragraph 5: Sites Approved by Exempted Organisations
Organisations exempted under paragraph 5 may issue certificates (valid for up to one year) for particular sites, stating that the land has been approved by the organisation for the use of its members for the purposes of recreation. These sites are known as “certificated locations” or “certificated sites”. Additionally:
• No more than 5 caravans can be stationed on a paragraph 5 site at any one time.
• Before issuing a certificate an exempted organisation is expected to have a system for consulting neighbours and the relevant local licensing authority
• Organisations which issue certificates are also expected to have systems in place to inspect their sites to check that the terms of the certificate are being observed; and for dealing with any inquiries or complaints from the public about their sites.
• Certificates are to be issued to the occupiers of the land
• Each organisation must send details of certificates it has issued to the relevant exemption certificate issuing body.


Paragraph 5 – exempted organisations issue certificates stating that a site has been approved for the use of its members. However, non-members may also use the site, unless there is an agreement between the site owner and the organisation that restricts its use to members only;


As Andy states there is nothing in the 1960 Act or Guidance notes that says facilities have to be provided. This is quite interesting, as the Big clubs do influence what Natural England say to other exempted organisations and most of this is their club own rules or requirements. When I first appled for a para 5 exemption, for a club I was the exemption holder for, I had to fight hard, as the officer stated they would only give them to large organisation at first. I fought on and they could not argue, when I could demonstrate that we could also put all the necessary checks and procedures into place.


John


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