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Parishes may be given powers over parking for motorhomes

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PARISH assemblies could be given the ability to grant and revoke permission for motorhome usage within their territory to protect against ‘unwelcoming’ behaviour, if proposals lodged by a backbencher are approved.

Camper van from Le Port to El Tico Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (24395910)

On 30 April, the States are due to debate a proposition calling for Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis to rescind his recent decision to convert the Le Port area in St Ouen’s Bay into a car park where vehicles are only permitted to stay for 12 hours in any 24-hour period.

The move came as part of a clampdown on campervans staying overnight in the area after a number of complaints of anti-social behaviour were received by parish authorities.

Le Port has been used for several years by large numbers of campervan users and concerns have grown that the site has become overcrowded.

The proposition to rescind Deputy Lewis’ decision, which was lodged by Senator Steve Pallett, also calls for designated areas for campervan usage around Jersey to be considered.

Earlier this month, the Jersey Camping and Touring Club published detailed proposals for modernised regulations for motorhome usage in Jersey.

Their plans involve working with businesses and the authorities to open more sites across the Island and to introduce an updated permit regime.

Deputy Jeremy Maçon has lodged an amendment to Senator Pallett’s proposition, which, if approved, would see the Infrastructure Minister and Constables’ Committee examine whether the parish assemblies should have authority to grant and revoke designated sites in their parish.

Outlining his amendment, Deputy Maçon said that he felt local communities needed to be ‘safeguarded’ and users encouraged to behave in a neighbourly fashion.

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‘While I’m sure the majority of motorhome users are well-behaved and would want to look after the Island and its environment, nevertheless I feel that safeguards should be put in place and the local community, who may have to deal with these users, should have the ability to grant and revoke permissions,’ he said.

He added that he had been contacted by people with concerns about potential ‘unwelcoming’ behaviour and ‘territorialism’ in designated sites.

‘We want to engage with the public and empower them to participate in what happens within their local community,’ he said.

‘This is grassroots democracy which should be embraced. It would also put the responsibility for the users to have to act in a neighbourly manner with the communities and authorities or risk losing this facility.

‘Concerns have been raised with me about the potential for certain areas of the Island to become unwelcoming to all Islanders and for territorialism to take over.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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