Mourne’s Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed proposals to end camper vans from staying overnight at three Newcastle seafront car park locations, but a suitable Donard Park site has been identified.
He said: “At the recent Regulatory and Technical Services Committee meeting of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, I proposed we accept the recommendations from council officers, to install barriers at these locations.
“The areas identified as problematic are Downs Road car park, Glen River car park, (which all possess a coastline frontage), and on occasion Donard car park. Complaints range from motor homes/camper vans occupying several parking bays, staying in access of the 12-hour permitted limit and generally obscuring the view of others.
Councillor Clarke added: “I also made a proposal that council should provide dedicated facilities in Newcastle, the area in the upper overflow Green carpark area of Donard Park would be suitable.
“It is paramount that we work with the motor homes/camper owners, we need our region to be a welcoming place for visitors. It has to be recognised that displacement of motor homes/camper vans from Downs Road and Glen River car parks, could cause issues in neighbouring car parking sites, namely Donard Park and the Rock Pool, as these sites are close to the seafront and are free of charge.
“I believe it is essential to provide an area for motor homes/ camper vans to park overnight in a controlled manner, while not taking business away from private sites.
“I have asked officers to ensure that good quality barriers are installed to compliment the seafront, following millions of pounds being spent on Newcastle Promenade and Streetscape, the erection of tacky standard barriers would not be appropriate.