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28/09/2021

Council urged to designate parking spaces for camper van tourists in Tipperary towns

Council urged to designate parking spaces for camper van tourists  in Tipperary towns

Tipperary County Council has been urged to introduce short-term overnight parking bays for motor homes in towns to attract more domestic tourists to the county.
Independent councillors Máirín McGrath and Richie Molloy tabled a motion at last month's county council meeting calling for these parking bays but Cllr McGrath said she was disappointed with council management’s response.
The council informed her there are currently six privately run caravan and camping parks in the county with water supply, sewerage and electricity facilities.
It warned that designating short-term parking spaces in towns without these facilities could give rise to nuisance and noise issues and could not be done without planning permission. Cllr McGrath responded that the six existing camp sites were located in rural areas and she believed they are probably already booked up for the summer due to the high demand for domestic holidays because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She complained the council’s response showed no understanding or enthusiasm about attracting the motor home community of tourists to Tipperary and other counties will instead gain.
Cahir’s Cllr Andy Moloney cautioned that the council had experienced serious issues with transient campers staying weeks and weeks in a public car park and causing problems for the gardaí. He questioned whether a car park was an ideal setting for a week’s holiday. At the moment there was no overnight car parking and he worried about giving any leeway on that.
But Cllr Joe Hannigan said the council had to look at the motor home issue in a completely different light to a year ago and called for a policy to be devised. There were now three times more motor homes in the country than three years ago and a growing demand for facilities for these tourists, he pointed out. There were a lot of people with camper vans visiting Terryglass but they didn’t have enough facilities. “We need a proper policy on motorised home parking. We need to create facilities for these people.” Council CEO Joe MacGrath suggested Cllrs McGrath and Molloy engage further with the Roads Department. Cllr McGrath agreed to do so and said she would also contact the Community & Economic Development section. Roads Director, Marcus O’Connor, agreed there was an opportunity there with a lot more people using motor homes but the council couldn’t just “willy-nilly” designate spaces in town car parks.
He agreed it was an issue the council could explore.

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