Tourists pitch tents at popular seaside hotspot to ‘avoid accommodation costs’

Cheeky holidaymakers are reportedly pretending to be homeless so they can stay on the seafront in Torquay, Devon, for free – but after being slammed, some residents feel they are doing nothing wrong

The campers have been slammed by community groups but locals are sticking up for them

Tourists skipping pricey accommodation costs by camping on a town’s seafront have sparked a debate after they were branded ‘freeloaders’.

Business owners are furious as holidaymakers are reportedly pretending to be homeless so they can stay on the famous promenade in Torquay, Devon, for free.

They claim they are exploiting a ‘loophole’ just so they can get a low-cost get-away on the English Rivera.

Campers have pitched their tents along the seafront and it is claimed they are taking the place of homeless people who often use the area.

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

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

Locals say it costs too much to stay in Torquay


James Dadzitis / SWNS)

Roger Carter, chairman of the Cockington, Chelston & Livermead Community Partnership, has hit out at the visitors.

He said: “This is not about the homeless problem – these people are having a free holiday at the expense of Torbay taxpayers. It’s just not acceptable.

“The toilet block at Corbyn Head is closed – what about personal hygiene? Where are they going to the toilet.

“You’ve got a family beach down below where children are playing in the sand.

The visitors have been called ‘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 Torquay’s showcase.

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

“These people are not homeless, but chancers and freeloaders. It is an appalling image to present to our visitors and residents – this is not about politics but the buck stops with the council.”

At least seven tents were spotted over the weekend


Don Proctor /

Mirror Online have approached Torbay council for comment.

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

Christine Lillicrap wrote: “What’s wrong with that? They’re not here buying second homes. Perhaps they resent having to pay ridiculous money grabbing campsites.”

Donna Nightingale commented: “If resorts didn’t bump up their prices they wouldn’t be there so good on them, hope they enjoy.”

Clive Hughes posted: “If not an authorised camping spot, they shouldn’t be there. Once you let one, the next thing it will be like a campsite, but at least it looks clean and tidy for now.”

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