Park mandate likely for freedom campers

Freedom campers in the Thomas Burns car park. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Freedom campers in the Thomas Burns car park. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Nineteen submissions were received and three people have asked to speak as Dunedin’s Thomas Burns St car park appears poised to become a regular stopping point for the city’s freedom campers.

The Dunedin City Council’s regulatory subcommittee will this week consider submissions on the council’s draft amended camping control bylaw — the proposed amendment would allow overnight camping in non-self-contained vehicles at the car park during the camping season.

Of the submissions received, 11 (58%) were in favour of the city centre site being added to Dunedin’s unrestricted overnight camping sites from November 1 to April 30 each season, council parks and recreation planner Stephen Hogg’s report to the subcommittee says.

The report says supportive submitters argued the addition of the Thomas Burns St site for Dunedin freedom campers would: benefit tourism, including by portraying Dunedin as a city that welcomes visitors (two submissions); reduce numbers at other overloaded unrestricted camping sites (two submissions); and could benefit the local environment (one submission).

On the other side of the issue, four submitters argued allowing the use of the car park as a freedom camping site would reduce parking availability for residents, or negatively affect Dunedin’s existing accommodation providers (five submissions), the report, to be tabled on Thursday, says.

The amendment would allow non-self-contained vehicles to spend the night at the site with conditions that campers parked in designated areas, stay a maximum of two consecutive nights and depart the site by 8:30am.

At present certified self-contained vehicles are allowed to camp overnight in any council-owned sealed or gravelled parking space.

Mr Hogg’s season-end report to the council, tabled earlier this month, noted an estimated 22,330 freedom campers stayed in Dunedin and contributed about $3.7 million to the city’s economy during their stay over the past camping season.

Thomas Burns St and Warrington sites were the city’s two busiest last year, Mr Hogg said at the September 14 full council meeting.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

Comments

Average figures.....
Is only a spend of 165 per person. Lee see, top IP the 'camper' supermarket stop.
Yup, that's wicked.... local economy gets nothing, massive national chains get the money. Reaaaaal useful for small business

 

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