Light at the end of the mushroom tunnel as caravan site finally gets green light

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There’s light at the end of the mushroom tunnel at last for a long-standing application for a pitch site for caravans and motor homes on the outskirts of Derry.

Paul Heaney first applied for permission to develop a camp site back in 2009 as Derry was preparing its ultimately successful bid for the title of City of Culture, 2013.

However, the proposal was repeatedly knocked back due to seemingly “insurmountable traffic issues.”

At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, roads issues once again seemed on the verge of scuppering the bid.

But councillors eventually agreed to grant permission for 20 pitches for touring motor homes, caravans or tents on the former mushroom farm at 49 Upper Galliagh Road, right on the Donegal border to the north of the city.

Mr. Heaney’s agent, Liam Nelis, addressing the committee, explained that it had been a long and somewhat frustrating road for the applicant who in 2009 felt he had been proposing a provision that the old Derry City Council should have been actually supplying itself.

In fact, Derry was one of the only places in Ireland without facilities for touring caravans, he said.

Mr. Nelis explained that one of the conditions attached to the current application was that Mr. Heaney establish six passing bays on the Upper Galliagh Road to allow caravans pass freely.

He said Mr. Heaney was able to create two passing bays on his own land but had been unable to procure land on adjacent sites for four additional passing bays.

Committee members, however, agreed to waive the need for the four passing bays outside Mr. Heaney’s own land and approved the proposal.