Motorhomes issue rumbles on in Stonehaven

Councillors will hear there is still no solution to motorhomes stopping over at the beachfront
Councillors will hear there is still no solution to motorhomes stopping over at the beachfront

The problem of motorhomes making overnight stops at Stonehaven’s beachfront is to be discussed again by councillors this week.

Cowie residents are fed-up with the volume of unofficial stopovers on Beach Road and the beachfront which, they claim, could seriously hamper emergency access during the night.

Last December, Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee voted 6-4 to receive a report on potential options to rectify the issue.

But when they meet on Tuesday, councillors will hear there is still no firm solution and they will be asked to approve a wider traffic management review for the Beach Road and beachfront areas.

In a report, infrastructure services director Stephen Archer says the option to allocate the leisure centre car-park for overnight stays for up to five motorhomes initially appeared to be a strong contender.

He states: “This council-owned car park is situated near to the site of proven demand, is remote from residential properties and benefits from a large, flat, surfaced area which should provide ample off-road manoeuvring space.

“This option appeared to offer a solution which could be delivered quickly and at low-cost.”

But the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local fire safety auditing officer advised that if the council was to promote a car park as an overnight stop for motorhomes, the service would consider the site to be a campsite and would require compliance accordingly.

In addition to the creation of fire points with facilities for raising an alarm in the event of a blaze and also fire hoses or extinguishers, together with the required distance between any two units, Mr Archer says the requirement “completely changes the scale and impact of the proposal”.

Councillors will be told: “Even if we provided overnight stances for only five motorhomes, following these requirements would sterilise the majority of the car park for other users and effective management would be necessary to ensure that motorhomes only parked in the allocated areas while other vehicles were kept at a suitable distance.

“This option, now in essence involving the running of a touring park, was felt to be well beyond the scope of the requested investigation and has not been considered in any greater depth.”