EMERGENCY restriction orders could be put in place along Falmouth's sea front roads to try and stop van dwellers parking their vehicles and staying on site for long periods.

These orders have already been used to tackle to problems of vans parking for long periods on roads in Newquay and it hoped that the same restrictions can be introduced in Falmouth to tackle the problem.

Arwenack ward councillor Geoffrey Evans told the Packet that it has been an "absolute nightmare" along Cliff Road and Boscawen Field where eight vans have been parked. When we spoke to him he said, at the weekend, there were still seven vans up there.

"It's been an absolute nightmare along Cliff Road," he said. "At one stage we had 28 camper vans parked up there. Same on the Pendennis Headland and Boscawen Field. There are even a couple of businesses involved. Could do some on health and safety. One or two vans people are doing a business up there. It is getting out of hand."

He said any decision would have to come back to the local council but in Newquay they had been forced to put a restriction order on it. "People are just using the toilets as a wash-up," he said "It's not just one or two vans, it is a number of people.

He said in Boscawen Road up to eight vans had been parked there all through the summer. They had been also been parked along Cliff Road. "A lot of them use the toilets to wash themselves," he said.

"It's been a very strange year because of Covid. Around the diver's car park on Pendennis Headland it's just been getting out of hand with some people throwing their rubbish down onto the beach.

"In Queen Mary Road, 12 to six are using Queen Mary gardens for a toilet. It's got to stop," he said.

Many van dwellers say they have been forced into this way of life because of a combination of high rents, unaffordable house prices and a shortage of council houses combined with the problems caused by the lockdown. Holidaymakers coming down with nowhere else to stay were also known to park their vehicles on the streets.

The problem was featured in the acclaimed documentary Cornwall with Simon Reeve that is currently showing on the BBC on Sunday nights. Young people running their own business, The Taco Boys, were forced to live in their vehicles all summer because there was nowhere else they could afford to live. But it was in a field near the beach they had their mobile kitchen rather than the street.

There is also concern that once the ban on evictions because of the lockdown ends, many more people will be forced to live in vans.