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New south Armagh glamping site would ‘bring employment and economic spin-off’ to area

A design statement indicates the goal to 'transform the site into a fully integrated 'holiday park' tourism destination scheme of the highest quality, with particularly strong links with the expanding Mullaghbawn amenities'

A new glamping site is being planned at Mullaghbawn.

Proposals have been submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for a site, with the applicant insisting there is a need for additional facilities to meet tourism demands in the area.

The earmarked location is “40 metres south of 44 Mill Road, Mullaghbawn”, and the applicant is Corey Finnegan, from Jonesborough.

He is seeking outline planning approval to construct a total of five tourist glamping pods, complete with a ‘welcome/communal building’ for guests.

The site at present is described as “agricultural lands”.

According to a design and access statement, the area is of “particular quality with respect to the rural landscape and its rich cultural heritage”.

And it adds: “A relatively unspoilt area, a wealth of lakes and rivers create a scenic beauty, which places the area of Mullaghbawn areas among some of the best potential holiday destinations within Northern Ireland.

“Tourism makes an important contribution to the Northern Ireland economy with income derived from tourist activity being distributed across many economic sectors. Tourism can also be of particular significance in the diversification of the rural economy and in the regeneration of certain towns and villages.

“The relationship between tourism and the environment must be managed so that tourism continues to support local communities and remains viable in the long term.

“This development offers a great opportunity to achieve this goal by adding to a small village community and develop a site that has fallen into disrepair.”

The design statement indicates the hope to “transform the site into a fully integrated ‘holiday park’ tourism destination scheme of the highest quality, with particularly strong links with the expanding Mullaghbawn amenities”.

There would be a total of five modern pods, all facing on to a central communal building containing all the necessary facilities for tourists visiting.

The design statement continues: “The existing physical and visual relationship between the proposed pods within the direct vicinity represent an opportunity to link with the adjacent residential area and add local character.”

And there would also be benefits in terms of employment and economic spin-off to the locality.

It states: “The proximity of the site to the local village outlets and shops, services and community facilities further enhances the potential suitability of an appropriate holiday tourism residential scheme.”

And in addition: “This development will offer new employment opportunities within the Mullaghbawn area as well as foster economic regeneration and assist people to continue to live in the rural area.”

The pods would sit in a small cluster, with a small seated picnic area located between them. Informal gravel pathways would feature throughout, and there are plans for landscaping and planting too.

Each would pod would be comprised of rough sawn timber cladding, with arched roof, and a decking area.

There would be a total of eight parking spaces available on site.

Insisting that the application – which will shortly be advertised – should be allowed to proceed, the design statement concludes: “Taking into account the other material considerations, and given the small scale nature of the proposal, close to an existing tourism facility, the smaller lower profile of the buildings which should not be prominent in the landscape and given the limited transient views of the site coupled with the existing planting on site, it is hoped that the proposal would comply with the policy and the application be recommended for approval.”

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