Constable rejects plea to find ‘staycation’ campervan sites

NEW camping sites need to be found to accommodate the likely increase in staycations this year, a spokesman for the Island’s campervan community has said.

Paul Hymas has called on the government to restart its reviews of potential sites, as Covid regulations are expected to continue to restrict travel in 2021.

In May 2019 the States approved a proposition lodged by Senator Steve Pallett calling for new sites for campervans to be investigated, following a clampdown on use of the unregulated site at Le Port in St Ouen’s Bay, which had become overcrowded.

Government officials carried out some work on the project before the pandemic but Mr Hymas said that this has since ground to a halt.

The spokesman for the motorhome owners who use the Le Port site said: ‘I was of the understanding that, following the vote in 2019, they were in the process of putting a document together to present to the Constables.

‘We were due to meet to discuss a draft plan about a year ago but it was cancelled due to the Covid outbreak and we never really got any further. I’ve said to all the people involved with this that the spring is upon us and things are getting better with Covid. If ever there was a time to do something, it’s now. We can get something in place by the spring and everyone can enjoy the summer, especially as we might not be able to get away this summer for a holiday. Staying here and campervanning would be great. It would be a different option for people,’ he said.

St Peter Constable Richard Vibert said, however, that ‘now is not the time’ to be looking at the issue, as resources were still diverted towards dealing with the pandemic.

Constable Richard Vibert. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30266513)

‘There has been no progress at all on this. We have had a pandemic on our hands,’ he said.

‘While, pre-Covid, a fair amount of work had been done by the Environment Department on looking at a potential scheme, until we’re back to having regular meetings and the people concerned are all back in their roles, there won’t be any progress.

‘People have got to be patient because the priority at the moment is not whether you can have your campervan in a car park. Now is not the time to be raising an issue like this.’

He added: ‘Last summer we had to introduce a rule stipulating that no one could stay at Le Port overnight at all because there were parties being held down there and the honorary police were already working on Covid in addition to their work.

‘We have to respect that we are in a fairly unique situation at the moment and officers from Planning and Environment are in other holes at the moment.’

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