Mobile homes – a money-making opportunity for Câmaras

Dear Editor,

My family have owned a house in the Algarve for 50 years and are grateful for the friendship and pleasure that the Portuguese people have given us.

During this time, there has been a huge increase in mobile homes and adapted white vans. There does not seem to be the facilities to cope with these and they thus park where they want to as there are insufficient proper sites. An example is Boca do Rio.

The Câmara has spent a lot of money putting down a proper carpark and blocking off access to the area previously available to the mobile homes. They also put up a sign banning overnight stays.

What has happened? The people in vehicles with no lavatories on board use the hill as a public lavatory – a health hazard and unpleasant. The “no overnight” sign has been covered over and the posts blocking the trails to the beach have been broken down. As far as can be seen, no action has been taken but the posts have, at last, just been replaced but overnight parking continues.

There seems an opportunity for the Câmara to make money:
▪ Charge for overnight parking.
▪ Convert the broken down building to an ablution block, café and shop.
▪ Provide water, electrics and tank emptying facilities.
▪ Put up proper immovable blocks to stop illegal access.
▪ Anybody refusing to pay is fined and their vehicle confiscated.

The adapted white vans should not be banned as they provide pleasure to a lot of people but they must be road worthy. Some are patently not and pose a significant danger to other road users. It is also important that they use sites with ablution facilities otherwise more of the countryside will become a public lavatory.

It would seem that there is a real opportunity for Câmaras and private enterprise to put up proper sites for all these vehicles. This would benefit all interests; the mobiles would have proper sites, the countryside kept clean, employment opportunities provided and profit made to maintain and create/expand the sites.

It would seem to be a “win win” situation but needs coordination between the various authorities viz Câmaras, GNR and local bodies.

M Holford
By email