Tourists pitch tents in seaside hot spot to “avoid accommodation costs”


Cheeky holidaymakers are reportedly pretending to be homeless so they can stay for free on Torquay seafront in Devon – but after coming under fire some residents believe they are doing nothing wrong

Video upload

Video unavailable

Freeloaders are invading Torquay seafront – how you reacted

Tourists who avoid expensive accommodation fees by camping on a city’s waterfront have sparked debate after being labeled “picnics.”

Business owners are furious that holidaymakers allegedly pretend to be homeless so they can stay for free on Torquay’s famous promenade in Devon.

They claim they are exploiting a “loophole” just so they can get a low cost escape to the English Rivera.

Campers have pitched their tents along the waterfront and are said to be replacing the homeless who often use the area.

But some residents have backed the cheeky move, saying the costs are too high to stay in the traditional city and things need to change.

What do you think of cheeky campers? Have your say in the comments

Locals say staying in Torquay is too expensive


James Dadzitis / SWNS)

Roger Carter, president of the Cockington, Chelston & Livermead Community Partnership, denounced the visitors.

He said: “This is not the homeless problem – these people get free vacations at the expense of Torbay taxpayers. It just isn’t acceptable.

“The Corbyn Head washroom is closed – what about personal hygiene? Where do they go to the bathroom.

“Below you have a family beach where the children play in the sand.

Visitors have been labeled “freeloaders” – but not everyone agrees


Don Proctor /

“It was bad enough when they were on Corbyn Head, but when I saw them on Princess Gardens I saw red – that’s the Torquay storefront.

“I have had strong emails with the leaders of the council. Princess Gardens has recently been refurbished at great expense and to see this is an absolute disgrace.

“These people are not homeless, but chancellors and profiteers. It is a terrible picture to present to our visitors and residents – this is not about politics, but the responsibility lies with the council.”

A number of locals gave their views on the situation on a Devon facebook group.

Christine Lillicrap wrote, “What’s wrong with that? They are not here to buy second homes. Maybe they don’t appreciate having to pay ridiculous money to take over campsites.

At least seven tents were spotted over the weekend


Don Proctor /

Donna Nightingale commented, “If the hotels weren’t increasing their prices they wouldn’t be so good with them, I hope they will.

Clive Hughes posted: “If it’s not a licensed campsite, they shouldn’t be there. Once you leave one it will be like camping, but at least it looks neat and tidy for now.

A Torbay Council spokesperson said: “Torbay Council is aware of unauthorized encampments and is taking action to determine the appropriate course of action.

“Our agents went to the scene and carried out the necessary social checks. We also support occupants with a more sustainable housing solution, which is all the more difficult in the current context of the housing crisis.

“We have strict legal processes to follow before a camp can be moved. We will complete all parts of the process as quickly as possible, while treating everyone involved with dignity and respect.

“Torbay is currently experiencing a shortage of suitable housing and is calling on private landlords to come forward if they have any available property.”

Get all the latest news sent to your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror newsletter


Comments are closed.