Campaigners will be gathering at Saunton Sands on Sunday to ‘reclaim’ the beach

Campaigners are planning a party against proposed parking changes on Saunton Sands this Sunday.

Saunton Beach Action Group is inviting people along from noon to show their feelings against plans to charge by the hour using an Automatic Number Plate Recognition barrier system.

The application from Lucie and Paul Tamlyn of Saunton Beach Enterprises will go before North Devon Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, February 10.

The original plans proposed to charge £2 for the first hour and £1.50 thereafter, with the rate reduced by half if people buy a £50 season ticket.

The Tamlyns said this ‘old’ information was no longer relevant and have revealed to the Gazette that all day parking under the new scheme would cost no more than £8.

But Peter Robinson, of the action group, said Sunday’s meeting was ‘making a statement about reclaiming our beach’.

“The owners have been in touch and said if they get permission they will make concessions, but they haven’t told us what,” he said.

“Under the original published figures it would cost £12.50 to park for eight hours and £5 for three, which is incredibly expensive for this area.”

The group is calling for ‘reasonably priced’ season tickets, a cap on the daily charge, a ‘fair hourly rate’ and hours such as 9am-6pm.

Mr Robinson said ‘party-goers’ would be cycling or car sharing and said he was not suggesting people refused to pay the existing charges.

The Tamlyns have said there will not be 24-hour charging and that following a consultation they are listening to the views of beach users.

Lucie said: “Yes, they are frustrated we are not releasing exact details, but as we have explained, until we know the outcome of the planning committee, the details are hypothetical.

“The changes we have made will make most people happy and provide better car park value for locals and tourists alike.”