A potential new cross-border camper van route for Derry & Donegal is to be explored, as well as better parking facilities for motorhome owners north of the border.
A recent report to Derry City and Strabane Council suggests improvements to the facilities available to motorhome tourists in the area.
The purpose of Report was to inform council members of current provision for motor homes and camper vans within Derry City and Strabane District Council area, and to examine potential sites for motor homes and camper vans.
An accommodation audit which included examining caravan and motorhome provision on council owned sites within Derry City Council area, was carried out prior to the City of Culture in 2013.
There is currently only one purpose built facility for motorhomes/camper vans within DCSDC area, which is the privately owned business Elaghvale Motor Home Park in Derry~Londonderry. The city also provides 2 temporary facilities available on request at the City of Derry Rugby Club and Foyle College.
In the Strabane area there has previously been provision for caravans/motor homes and camping in Newtownstewart. This however was discontinued for a number of reasons, one of which was the sites close proximity to the river which was prone to flooding. Council does have an amenity at Barnes in the Glenelly valley has also been used in the past which provides parking, interpretation and toilets. The narrow roads leading up to the facility does however make access difficult A feasibility study has recently been undertaken in relation to the Sperrin Heritage centre for the provision of outdoor eco pods, wild camping facilities and bunkhouse/hostel type provision, which provided the basis of an expression of interest submitted recently to DARD under the Rural Tourism scheme. This study did not however include motor home provision at this stage but it could be looked at in later stages of the project.
A recommendation has been made to follow up on previous work carried out in Derry~ Londonderry in relation to the feasibility of motor home/camper provision in the Bay Road area and within the 31 council owned car parks, with the possibility of developing a motor home route within the council area and on a cross border basis with Donegal County Council who already have a number of privately owned motor home sites in operation. To scope out the potential of carrying out a full feasibility accommodation audit in relation to Motor home/ camper vans provision in Derry City and Strabane District Council.