A man has spent years living in a lay-by with ”Britain’s best view” – out the back of his VAN.
David Holden opens the rear doors of his vehicle every morning and says he is greeted by breathtaking views of the Cornish coastline.
He said his van has no insulation and winter months can be uncomfortable but insists that his modest living arrangements are worth it for the outlook alone.
David, who also uses the van for work as a removal man, said that he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else other than the lay-by on Pendennis Point in Falmouth, Cornwall.
But he said he is now facing a battle to stay as he fears the council are taking steps to move him on – but insists he is going no-where.
He said: “It’s really therapeutic for me here.
“Ultimately before here I had to move around from place to place, when I came here I was really surprised to find there were no real restrictions.
“Nobody really asked you to move or anything like that.
“I just stayed here more and more. Eventually time just went by and it became easy because all my work’s here.
“I’m based where I need to be – in and around Falmouth – and ultimately it’s the cheapest form of accommodation for me.
“It’s so expensive in Falmouth to live. This is my only real alternative.”
David grew up in care and was moved around to various foster homes during his childhood.
He says the van offers him stability, while also providing the freedom he craves.
For a living he does “van and man work”, which he says mostly involves moving students in and out of homes in Falmouth.
David first moved into a van after his former landlord sold the house he was living in four years ago and he couldn’t find another place he could afford.
He said: “I have weeks here where work just dies to nothing and it can turn into months, a couple of months, especially through winter time.
“We’re just barely surviving.
“I have always loved the freedom of the van; living in beautiful places like this and not being locked away in properties all the time.
“That’s the great thing about the van; you have got the freedom; wherever you go, your home’s with you all the time.”
He says people from all walks of life end up at the lay-by.
“I tend to keep myself to myself but there is a nice community,” he adds.
“I know one man who has lived in a van for 30 years. Some youngsters come down to try out the lifestyle.
“You see some people who have separated from their partners and are sleeping in their cars.
“It varies throughout the year. Some people are here in the summer and go abroad in the winter because it’s too cold.”
David says in recent months ‘boy racers’ have parked up in the lay-by in the early hours revving up their engines, keeping everyone awake.
Dog faeces was once smeared on his vehicle and people hurling insults towards him and others at the lay-by has become a fairly regular occurrence.
David added: “Over time it’s been a long battle in the van between the good times and the bad times and the dark times through winter and the struggles, dealing with people and feeling like you’re there for people to kick.
“They automatically think ‘they’re Travellers or Gypies’ or whatever it may be but there’s actually a lot of people in vans for various reasons and a lot of people choose that way of life because they realise it’s a better alternative than paying out ridiculous huge bills continuously.
“Other people are forced into the situation and other people are just in this situation just trying to survive and get on with life.”
Recently, a single yellow line was recently painted along the side of the lay-by by the council and now David fears that further efforts will be made to force him out.
Despite his struggles, he says he will not give in.
David added: “It would be nice if people saw people differently and were willing to talk to people and ask what the situation was with people rather than just assume.
“I don’t think we are doing anything wrong by the way we choose to live.
“Everybody is entitled to live how they choose as long as they are not hurting anybody or causing damage to the environment or whatever it might be.”