Deputy Steve Luce says three years after he expressed concerns about the growing number of mobile homes and converted camper homes on Island roads, the situation has got even worse.
The Planning Department is responsible for administering the more than 40-year-old legislation governing the uses of mobile homes in Jersey.
‘This goes back to the 1970s when we decided to act to prevent fields being turned into camping parks, full of caravans and mobile homes like you see at seaside resorts around the UK,’ he said.
‘We were very clear at the time about the reasons for doing so but maybe times have changed and there is a demand from tourism and Islanders for such facilities.
‘But that decision has to be made by Visit Jersey, the Constables and Environment and the Infrastructure departments so they all need to come together to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone.’
Deputy Luce says unless the law is changed it has to be enforced consistently as mobile-home owners will justifiably want to know why they can camp out at Le Port, but not anywhere else in Jersey.
‘The Constables and Infrastructure [which administers car parks] need to get together and decide what they want to do otherwise this will spread to all parts of the Island where people want to sleep outside,’ he said.
Since the 1970s it has been illegal to sleep in a vehicle – even a mobile home – at anywhere other than a registered camping site, and that includes private property. That is reinforced by the car park law, which also forbids staying overnight in vehicles.
However, in recent years an official mobile-home park has become established on States-owned land at Le Port, in the St Peter coastal strip of St Ouen’s Bay. While St Ouen and St Brelade enforce the law in their parts of the bay, St Peter has adopted a ‘softly-softly’ approach, since a parish assembly attended by 250 parishioners in 2014, agreed that mobile-home owners could camp there but for a maximum of two nights and in a single line.
Following complaints about the number of vehicles using Le Port at weekends, drunken behaviour at the site, and adjacent protected sand dunes being used by some people as a toilet St Peter has decided to get tougher.
However, Constable Richard Vibert says he does not want to entirely ban people from the area as he believes it is just an inconsiderate minority who are abusing the site.