Growing Trend of people living in Vans in Bristol

Growing Trend of people living in Vans in Bristol

10:58 AM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago 11

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The local press in Bristol have picked up on a Gumtree advert offering a parked van to live in for £220 per month.

The advert said the LDV Convoy van (a yellow minibus) comes with all the facilities required for winter living on a city street with a fire burner, cooker, oven, sink, tap, double bed and kitchen table.

The Bristol Post reported that due to the housing crisis scores of people across Bristol have resorted to living in vans on the streets. There is a legal loophole where as long as a van has an MOT and tax there is nothing the authorities can do to move them on, although notice can be served on caravans.

A spokesperson for Bristol Council said: “We are aware of a growing trend of people who are turning to living in vans or caravans on our streets in Bristol and around the country.

“We realise that this trend is having an impact on other residents around the city however the council is restricted in how it can respond. Without parking restrictions, we are limited by national law in what we can do to enforce moving these kind of vans which are parked legally.

“This kind of enforcement would in any case not help to combat the longer term causes of this national problem. We are looking at a number of short term solutions to address this problem, combating the impact on local residents, and providing more security for the van dwellers.

“For some people, the long term solution may be finding affordable housing, and we are continuing to work hard to build more houses across the city.”


by Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law)

11:13 AM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago

It would also need insurance.

by Martin Roberts

11:24 AM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago

The council virtualy admit they don't want to address this as they will likely be responsible for housing the people involved.

by Alison Walker

11:45 AM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Would there not be a risk of CO poisoning if fire burners are provided?

by James Barnes

17:01 PM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 10/10/2017 - 11:24
I don't think this is about the Council not wanting to resolve the issue, but not being able to as they say. They don't have the powers in law to prevent people from living in vans or to move them on when they do.
It's not really surprising that when the going rate for a room in a shared house in Bristol is in the region of £500-£600 a month, that some people either can't afford it or are choosing to find a cheaper sort of accommodation. I suspect as rents increase, as they inevitably will, more and more people will start considering alternative types of accommodation.

by Mike

17:15 PM, 10th October 2017, About 5 years ago

I believe in freedom of choice, so as long as the van is leggally parked and taxed, no authority or residents should complain when some people cannot afford rents, it is the next best thing to sleeping rough on streets, recently someone was sleeping rough on the corner of my street, and a fellow resident a self appointed "Chair" of Resident's Association for my street wrote to the local council to have the corner premises remove some part of that building which attarcts rough sleepers or homelss persons, I strongly objected, instead I asked this Chir person to look into why is this homeless man not being helped by Authorities instead of asking Council to enforce a removal notice on the building owners to remove a small projection like a porch under which this homeless person was sleeping.

The Chair person was so rude that he replied to me that if I am undualy concerned for his welfare, why don't I take him in my home, or get him to sleep in my red sports car! what a pathetic comments to make by a Chir of Residents Association.

I then thought how else could someone completely stranger be helped by anyone but a little short of taking in a complete stranger into their own house, and I came up with this wonderful idea of fitting a van with facilities to spend the night in complete comfort and protection from those well off thugs of our society who fail to see that not everyone is rich and can afford their own homes and or rent expensive rooms.

I dread to think now our well off MPs will now pass a new law to outlaw living or spending a night in your own van! I hope Shelter would make a strong protest against any such rulings.

Everyone deserves to sleep somewhere safely and away from people pissing on rough sleepers and kicking and spouting insults at these helpless members of our society.

by Charlotte McDuff

10:43 AM, 14th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Would vans be permitted on private land/gardens or would this be considered a campsite and need planning? I am shocked at how many people live in vans on the streets and many in tents on roundabouts, rough land and small parks around Portsmouth - they are so vulnerable and have no washing/toilet facilities.

by Richard Adams

12:51 PM, 14th October 2017, About 5 years ago

While Councils definitely do have a housing shortage problem big time they are nevertheless bound to house people who are homeless. There are other places where genuinely homeless folk can turn to - Salvation Army for one. Trouble is these days there are folk who actually prefer for some reason to live in a van, squat or indeed even sleep rough. Couple of times a year I use Tower Hill Underground and there is always the same ex servicemen there begging who is presumably sleeping rough. Were he to approach the Royal British Legion he would be sorted with accommodation etc. He chooses not to. So what I am saying is there a need for anyone to live in a van - legally parked or not - in a street and by doing so irritate residents as seems to be what is happening?

by Prakash Shah

13:45 PM, 24th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Many of this homeless people don't know of salvation Army ir Royal British Legion. Most if them have Ni education , are desperate with worries that they cannot think if where to get help. Because lot of this people do nit wash themselves public is against / frighten of helping them . Council should provide free bathing and washing cloths facility. Same guy in clean trousers, shirt and tie will get more help and will be less stressed. May be also find a job as it should be.

by Jon D

19:16 PM, 28th October 2017, About 5 years ago

I agree with Mike, in my area there is council plus plenty of housing from charities with a van than circulates offering such. The individuals choose not to take it.
Prakesh, what else would you like the taxpayer to fund... a spa? Perhaps a steamroom & jacuzzi with music and mood lighting after a hard days cadging. Plus free breakfast. It's only right.

by Michael Bond

10:53 AM, 2nd November 2017, About 5 years ago

Much better that people should live in vans, or for that matter cars etc, than sleep in the streets. Of course there are a few people who seem to choose to sleep rough and live on the streets. Presumably they have a mental health problem, but possibly one that would respond quite readily to treatment. The real problem is shortage of dwellings. The main reasons for this are planning regulations and especially the way the are implemented. Planning officials seem to regard it as their duty to prevent or obstruct people who want to build houses, whether their own council, housing associations or private landlords. Incidentally Shelter have no accomodation of their own. Their main function is to support the interest of one household against another, usually a bad and disruptive tenant in occupation against a good potential tenant who urgently needs somewhere to live.

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