Tuesday 21 May 2019

Spaces proposed for motor homes

Mary Fogarty

Colin Carty of the Phoenix motor home club made a presentation to members of Greystones Municipal District last week, outlining how a town can accommodate motor homes with serviced parking areas.

Cathaoirleach Nicola Lawless said that she had brought forward a project to try to get a camper van site for Greystones. She said that there is a lack of tourist accommodation in the town, and it would be wonderful to have proper facilities for motor homes.

Colin outlined the benefits of such a facility. He showed slides which explained how the occupants could appropriately dispose of grey water (from showers and washing up), as well as other waste. He also showed examples of signs and security measures at other sites, including Cobh, preventing parking for more than 48 or 72 hours. He said that this particular model provides the parking space only, and limited services for water disposal etc, so having chairs and tables or awnings outside the home would not be permitted.

The motor home tourists tend to be mature and well-heeled, he said, with an average of €49 per person per day spent, separate from any costs for accommodation. He told members that by laws must be in place, to enforce the regulations surrounding such parking spaces. While examples he showed included disposal services at each separate parking space, he said that it is possible to have services area elsewhere in the town, where occupants would go on arrival and when leaving the area. Cllr Jennifer Whitmore said that what she had been thinking of something more along the lines of a camp-site. She asked how many motor homes would normally be accommodated on such a site. Mr Carty said it could be as few as two or three in a village, to hundreds. There are 30 spaces in Cobh, he said, and around €20,000 was collected in 2018. Rates can vary from €6 to €12 per 24 hours.

Cllr Gerry Walsh said that something like this would be very popular. 'We do have a lack of tourism accommodation here. I imagine this would be in demand.' He said that there have previously been visitors to the Marina car park but there were issues regarding where they could empty waste.

He asked how much it would cost to install the bays. While Mr Carty didn't have official information, he said his understanding was around €5,000 if the work was done by the council's own staff.

Cllr Derek Mitchell said that there have been people parked near the seafront nearly all summer in the past. He wondered if there might be scope to accommodate motor homes in the park and ride, but just at the weekends when it's not busy with commuters.

Mr Carty said there is precedent elsewhere. Other members said that tourists might not want to be so far from the sea views. Cllr Grainne McLoughlin said it would be worth Mr Carty or another person from the organisation, going around Greystones with the engineer to look at potential sites. Cllr Mitchell said that the area where the former public toilets are could be suitable for an area simply to service the waste disposal.

Mr Carty said that Greystones is already on a review site for motor home enthusiasts and getting very good reviews despite a dearth of disposal services.

Bray People