Camper van plans hailed as “good compromise”

COLERAINE Council and Roads Service have come up with a plan to tackle the controversial issue of camper vans at Lansdowne Crescent in Portrush.

The proposal will see a 4.5 metre strip of Lansdowne Green being adopted by Roads Service to create space for nine camper vans to park during the day.

Details of the plan were revealed to members of Coleraine Council’s Leisure and Environment Committee on Tuesday.

Willie Elder from the Council’s Environmental Services department said that there would be a height restriction barrier and nine spaces on the eastern side of Lansdowne.

“This allows visiting camper vans a dedicated day time parking amenity, helping to address an increased demand for camper van parking in Portrush,” he said.

“The proposed scheme enables the provision of continued car parking at Lansdowne with a restriction to prevent parking within the enclosed area. It does however provide additional dedicated parking provision for camper vans visiting Portrush.

“The transfer of the small stretch of green space provides a dedicated parking facility for day time usage.

“Officials believe that the loss of green space at Lansdowne will be compensated through the addition of a new green area on the circumference of the car park and sensitive landscaping and planting,” said Mr Elder.

“Council officials will continue to seek alternative overnight parking provision for visiting camper vans,” he continued.

“Suitable sites are being investigated as potential overnight parking provisions with services.”

There was broad support from the members who said that the tourist potential of the Borough needed to be protected and capitalised upon.

Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Sam Cole said the plans were a “good compromise to a controversial issue.”

Portrush councillor Christine Alexander supported the plan but asked if it was possible to trial the scheme for one summer season without the height restriction barriers which, she said, took away from the natural beauty of the area.

Mr Elder said that her comments would be taken on board.

Cllr Mark Fielding asked if the car park behind Portrush Fire Station would be suitable as a site for camper vans with some services available.

Director of Environmental Health, Kieran Doherty, said it was indeed one of the sites under consideration.

Members then agreed to accept the plans and to transfer the 4.5 metre strip of Lansdowne Green to be adopted by Roads Service.