Northumberland County Council has announced that motorhomes will be able to stay overnight in three sites in the county under a new pilot scheme which has now started.
Temporary planning permission has been granted which will allow one-night stays for a limited number of motorhomes in Links Road, Bamburgh, Amble Braid and Beadnell overflow car parks.
Currently, existing Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) do not allow for sleeping in parked vehicles overnight in our off-street car parks across the county.
Temporary changes to the TROs are being made to allow the pilot to take place in the individually numbered motorhome bays between 6pm to 8am. In all remaining parking areas within these three car parks, sleeping will continue to be prohibited.
There will be a total of 20 bays across the three sites, combining of existing marked bays and areas of hard standing created for the motorhomes alongside fencing to mark the plots. There will also be additional bins at each of the locations.
Outside of the operating hours of the pilot (8am-6pm), the numbered motorhome bays are available for use in accordance with the existing daytime terms and conditions of the car park, which in Bamburgh and Beadnell requires the user to make payment of the necessary parking charge.
A bespoke online booking system has been set up at www.northumberland.gov.uk/motorhomes where users can book and pay £12 for their overnight stay and also agree terms and conditions.
This includes confirmation that their motorhome meets specific requirements, such as being self-contained (must include toilet, washing facilities and on-board waste storage). The system will also prevent a booking for consecutive nights through the user being required to provide their vehicle registration.
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Tourism, said: “We know how much of an attraction our coastline is for visitors, and staying in motorhomes is becoming an increasingly popular way to visit our beautiful county.
“For some time we’ve been looking for the best way of improving the Council’s offering to tourists while also resolving concerns about inconsiderate motorhome parking – we appreciate it’s a fine balance.
“There can be fewer more spectacular places to wake up and watch the sunrise than Northumberland and we hope the scheme can be rolled out to other areas in time.
“The aim of the charge is to cover site set up costs and ongoing management of the pilot. We want to reassure residents we’ll be monitoring this closely – seeking feedback from motorhome organisations, parish councils and local stakeholders.
“We’ll also monitor complaint levels and enforcement officer feedback; as well as how many people are using the sites. All this information will help to inform any decision on implementing a scheme on a permanent basis.”