A huge increase in the number of visitors to Londonderry is expected next year when it will become the UK City of Culture. However, almost five-hundred concerned residents have signed a petition against a proposed campsite for caravans and motorhomes.
The LRRG (Limavady Road Residents Group) has organised the petition of concern against the location of a campsite in the area and residents have already met with local council officials to discuss the matter. LRRG members are keen to stress that there group is not against a caravan and motorhome camp in general, but they believe that something needs to be done to properly accommodate visitors to the city and that it is not acceptable to expect people with motorhomes and caravans to arrive if the facilities are not up to scratch. They are also worried that it will become a permanent campsite and not the temporary site it has been portrayed as.
Mobile home owners are already making sure they have adequate motorhome insurance and are looking for suitable campsites that will allow them to visit Londonderry next year. With more campers arriving than there are going to spaces availabl, it is no wonder that motorhome owners are trying to secure places before Christmas. Ideally the council want to have a large, temporary year-long site for the City of Culture and then a much smaller site for the following years.
Mr McAuley, chairman of the LRRG, said “This lack of consultation created a scenario which, in the absence of information, we were left with no other option than to object. Our first preference would have been dialogue. We requested a meeting with Derry City Council and they accommodated us quickly with a meeting last week. We had a cordial meeting but could not reach a meeting of minds. We accept the council are trying to do the right thing, but they have gone about it totally the wrong way.”