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Council planning to open motorhome park in New Ross

Hopes facility will appeal to people arriving into Rosslare or coming to visit greenway

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The site beside Aldi is set to be developed to accommodate up to 40 motorhomes

The site beside Aldi is set to be developed to accommodate up to 40 motorhomes

The site beside Aldi is set to be developed to accommodate up to 40 motorhomes

A motorhome park is being opened by Wexford County Council to accommodate tourists to the area.

A site beside Aldi is set to be developed for up to 40 motorhomes, councillors at the monthly New Ross Municipal District meeting heard.

Special Projects senior engineer Sinead Casey sought the endorsement of councillors for the development of the site, subject to planning being approved. Ms Casey said: 'The site was purchased during the flood protection project. It's 2.3 acres. We see it as an alternative factor in accommodation provision for New Ross, especially with the greenway imminent next year.'

Ms Casey said there has been a growth in motorhome use throughout the country in recent years, adding that it is planned to attract visitors arriving into Rosslare Europort.

Aiming to increase 'dwell time' in New Ross and district, the plan was unanimously approved by councillors.

A Part 8 planning application will follow to develop the site and pitches, along with associated services.

Ms Casey said there is no funding in place for the motorhome park but the council plans to have the site 'shovel ready' so works can begin immediately when funding does become available, which may be as soon as this winter.

She said camping will not be encouraged at the motorhome site, which will have between 30 and 40 pitches. 'We won't be encouraging long stays here.'

Cllr Michael Sheehan asked if Wexford County Council is managing the site and if an online booking system will be used.

'I think it's a great idea as there is a greenway nearby and a destination playground across from it.'

Cllr Connick called for the site to be raised or enclosed to give people staying at the motorhome park privacy. 'People can walk around that site on the river walk,' he said, asking who will monitor the site when the council's outdoor crew has been halved from 14 to seven in the past decade.

Cllr Connick also called for Ms Casey and her team to research the best business and operational model for the motorhome park.

Ms Casey replied: 'It's not clear yet how it will be managed. We are very aware it will be integral to its success.'

She said the site will be raised up, possibly to the level of the path, adding that it will be screened off.

'That will offer security and privacy as well. I have travelled extensively on the continent and used these facilities so I can add my expertise,' Ms Casey said.

Cllr Pat Barden asked how much it will cost to stay at the facility. Ms Casey said: 'We will pitch ourselves very favourably with the market. This will have to wash its own face.'

Cllr Barden said there is a scarcity of accommodation in New Ross for the crowds expected to arrive in the town when the greenway opens in early 2022.

'How are we going to cope with the amount of people that are going to be landing in town if we are going to have a destination town here?'

Ms Casey said: 'There is practically a blank canvas for future accommodation in New Ross. With the greenway development it's up to private enterprise. There are vast opportunities for private developers to come in. There is consideration of a hostel. These are opportunities that we welcome.'

Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Whelan said a greenway business development officer is being appointed to liaise with developers. Cllr Bridín Murphy asked if the facility will be open all year and was told it will be as modern motorhomes have excellent heating systems. She asked if the council has bye-laws for illegal parking.

Quoting the movie 'Field of Dreams', district director Eamonn Hore said: 'Build it and they will come. We're putting in a greenway, developing the High Hill and will have a new Norman Way motorhome park. The public sector will come on board. I have had enquiries about people putting hostels in derelict sites. The Dunbrody pub is being developed. The Docks will be opening and the town will have a top of the range motorhome park.'

Wexford People