Copeland Council are expecting an influx of motorhome holiday makers to the area this summer, and are encouraging suitable businesses to offer pitches for campervans, to prevent illegal camping in inappropriate places where there are no facilities.
Copeland's Mayor, Mike Starkie, said: “After the first lockdown, Cumbria had a lot of motorhome owners visiting. Some camped in places where it was not appropriate and that caused problems. We want to make sure there is enough legal capacity for them in Copeland, so that these holiday makers do not need to fly camp."
The council says it is looking for existing businesses that might be able to offer a small amount of space for motorhomes.
Mr Starkie added: “This is a win-win. Not only would it prevent fly camping and all the issues it brings, it would also allow businesses to capitalise on what is likely to be a popular market.
“For example, a pub with some hard standing and, with our help, all the right permissions in place, could offer a couple of pitches and make some income. Hopefully those visitors might then eat in the pub, buy provisions locally or visit an attraction. We think it could benefit the whole tourism economy.
“It could also be an option for a campsite that currently only has tents, or a shop with extra outside space.”
The council is keen to point out that businesses cannot make such changes without permission, but that it can advise on what is needed. “There are planning considerations, possible environmental health issues, and there must be provision for things like the disposal of waste," said Mr Starkie.
“We would encourage people to get in touch and find out exactly what’s involved – it might be easier than they thought to develop their business in this way."
Businesses who would like support in looking into this option should contact the council’s Tourism Development Officer, Katie Read.