MOTORHOMES owners have spoken out after Minehead Town Council passed a motion calling for Somerset County Council to take action to stop motorhomes parking for free overnight near Minehead harbour.

At Minehead Town Council’s meeting on July 28, concerned councillors said motorhomes owners are parking overnight at West Quay close to Culvercliffe, and using the public toilets in the nearby car park to fill up with gallons of water, run hose pipes and empty their toilet cassettes.

An emergency motion put forward by Cllr John Malin was passed calling on Somerset County Council to act urgently, saying the current situation was posing a health risk during the ongoing pandemic.

Minehead’s West Quay currently has several spaces which are free to park in between 6pm and 8am, and motorhome users have been making the most of it in recent weeks.

However this week motorhome owners say that ‘backward-looking councils’ are missing a huge opportunity.

In an open letter to Minehead Town Council, motorhome owner Mark Edgecombe writes: “I ask you all just for one moment to take new look at the opportunity motorhomes really are, for Minehead and its business owners.

“Please do not simply say that your two campsites are sufficient, as I can assure you they are simply not attractive to motorhome owners.”

Mr Edgecombe argues that there is an opportunity for Minehead to attract a new market sector, with staycations on the rise and sales of motorhomes at an all-time high.

He continues: “On the European mainland there is a motorhome aire/camperstop, in virtually every city town and village. If the UK’s councils allowed overnight stopovers for motorhomes, on existing official parking areas, retail sales would dramatically increase.

"To be clear aires/camperstops are in addition to traditional campsites, they are aimed at self contained motorhomes and campervans.

"Motorhomes are expensive items, and owners are normally older, so expendable income in this category is normally fairly high.

"If more places allowed overnight stopovers for self-contained motorhomes, on existing official parking areas, retail sales would dramatically increase.

"Creating an aire/camperstop would be a very positive move for all parties."