Aire provision in N. Down Ards

Resulting from survey over Christmas

 
 
 
 
 
 
Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #1
I received an email today from N. Down & Ards council which follows on from my involvement in the council area tourist development plan and the subsequent survey that many of you completed.

The council is now actively looking at the provision of Aires at
Luke’s point,
Ballywalter amenity centre,
Portaferry ( as part of a bigger development) and
Groomsport harbour.

They are also considering Motorhome parking at,
Millisle beach park,
Cloughey main road,
Shore road Whiterock,
Island hill and
National trust Greyabbey (subject to agreements)

They have asked me to open the subject to your thoughts on these locations. I in turn have asked them to include us in the active implementation of any developments in order to get the best result for all parties.
Thoughts on location within the carparks would probably be useful with regard to size of Motorhomes, access routes, slopes, views (if possible) etc.
It might be useful to have a few site visits to assess the suitability of locations. I would expect that one or two of you might help me with this aspect, especially if you have knowledge of specific locations. This will assist by allowing us to more fully advise the council as to what is the best plan is for each spot, as their knowledge will be limited as to the needs and wishes of our community.

This development has the ability to be a game changer for parking in the north, so lets make the most of it.

I intend to provide the relevant council officers with a link to this topic to allow them to monitor individual thoughts.

Unless the survey turned up something unusual, we shall be asking for simple drive over grey drains and a black disposal point together with protected taps (vandal and cassette proof) at the locations selected to be aires. So the discussion really centres on locations and suitability.

We look forward to your participation.

Davy


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Bleary Craigavon County Down....
Age: 69
Posts: 1790
Registered: 07 / 2014
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #2
I'm sure a lot of us would like to do a viewing trip, and surely if, and it will, word got back to the councils it would make it a more feasible project for them. We'd need to be able to see the location of local shops and restaurants, pubs, and walks.

How about trying to get the GPS coordinates of the locations?

Oh, and well done in getting something positive from your council.


Eat's Sleep's craic
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Newry, Co Down
Age: 40
Posts: 551
Registered: 11 / 2016
My Motorhome: LMC Liberty 630R (LHD)
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.5 TD
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #3
Fantastic, I would be very supportive and will help if so can. I live in Newry but my wife worked on the tourism side in Ards council so will assist if I can as she will be able to see things from a council and new to motorhoming point of view.

We plan to stay in Donaghadee in the next few weeks and simply would not have considered it if motorhome parking was not available. I hear it can be busy there sometimes so having more sites in the area would help spread the load a bit.

I don’t know the area very well but somewhere within walking distance of Bangor would be great for the kids and we have friends who live there. I agree on the Aire facilities. Just the basics needed as we have no need for EHU with solar panels & 2 batteries.

Well done again Davy.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co Down
Age: 63
Posts: 120
Registered: 08 / 2016
My Motorhome: Autotrail
Base Vehicle: Fiat
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #4
I live in Ballywalter so I'll let you know when up and running


...
 
Avatar
 
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #5
Well done Davy.
A positive bit of feedback there. It is great to see a council that already has an Aire being so interested in Motorhome tourism.

Quote by gavster1

I don’t know the area very well but somewhere within walking distance of Bangor would be great for the kids and we have friends who live there.



Luke's point is in Bangor.


Administrator
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Muckamore, Antrim
Age: 50
Homepage: motorhomecraic.com
Posts: 24294
Registered: 08 / 2011
My Motorhome: Itineo 740JB
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.3 130BHP
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #6
Great work Davy and an excellent response & survey from N. Down & Ards council . They have to be congratulated in their forward outlook on Motorhome tourism in the area.

Most of those area's mentioned are area's we have used. We no longer use Groomsport because of the no overnight parking sign so I assume that will be removed if these plans go ahead. It will bring great economy into Groomsport for the bars and restaurants and local shops.

I assume with the success of Donaghadee and reports from business there that this has also made these negotiations possible.

Lukes Point we have used and an Aire there would be very welcome and very beneficial, as would all the others. I love the fact that what is being recognised is that we do not need services at every stopover, also hopefully the fact that when we do need services we need very little and very little money needs to be spent.

Very good news for the Motorhome community and if this goes ahead N. Down & Ards council area will be the area for Motorhome tourists spending their money. I am sure once other councils see the value of the installations they will soon follow suit.

Slightly off topic; At this early stage I think we need to move way from the terms "Aire" and "Aire De Service" - if Councils are reading this then we need a change and we need start calling them Motorhome Parking and Motorhome Service area's, at this stage this might seem pedantic but I think it is quite important. There is great confusion out there from Motorhomers in the UK & Ireland who do not tour France.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Moira, Craigavon
Age: 55
Homepage: motorhomecraic.com
Posts: 8286
Registered: 04 / 2012
My Motorhome:
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #7
Stayed at Millisle a couple of weeks back, so I can give you a bit of feedback on that. I have considered using Island Hill before but have never had the opportunity, yet. Is the Ballywalter amenity at the rear of the Mace on the main street looking out over the harbour?


Administrator
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Muckamore, Antrim
Age: 50
Homepage: motorhomecraic.com
Posts: 24294
Registered: 08 / 2011
My Motorhome: Itineo 740JB
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.3 130BHP
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #8
Have stayed at Island Hill quite a few times. The bays at the top are quite good and quite level, we tend to use these as we are then out of the way of any traffic coming in and out. There is a disabled bay up there which would need to be included in any plans or perhaps moved to a different location. Toilets have never been open when we have have been .


Eat's Sleep's craic
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Newry, Co Down
Age: 40
Posts: 551
Registered: 11 / 2016
My Motorhome: LMC Liberty 630R (LHD)
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.5 TD
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #9
Just thinking, I agree as others have said in most places just overnight “parking” is fine especially if there are grey, black & clean water facilities at another spot in the general area. No problem driving that spot to use those facilities if needed but actually stay in another location. It would mean the other locations could be made available very cheaply yet close to spots where money can be spent locally within walking distance 👍.


...
 
Avatar
 
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #10
Quote by Davy

I would expect that one or two of you might help me with this aspect, especially if you have knowledge of specific locations. This will assist by allowing us to more fully advise the council as to what is the best plan is for each spot, as their knowledge will be limited ........


Davy.
I would be happy to help any way I can with the list below as they are all close to me.
Luke’s point,
Groomsport harbour.
Millisle beach park


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co Down
Age: 63
Posts: 120
Registered: 08 / 2016
My Motorhome: Autotrail
Base Vehicle: Fiat
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #11
The suggested place in Ballywalter as far as I know is just behind the shops overlooking the harbour. The council is also going to improve the harbour with new lighting and picnic tables. The beach is beautiful and couple of mins away . There are toilets but usually closed in the evening at the beach.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 11.04.2018  ·  #12
Starting to take shape folks, it is the small points that gathered together will help present a good feedback to the council. I will certainly take you up on the offer Mark. It would be good to have a couple (or more) people visit each site to work out what is good or bad about each location especially those who have experience of the likely parking arrangements. Preferred location at each site, potential for grass overhang to suit longer vans, sun direction, wind, road noise etc.

I don’t think the council would object to any other potential locations being raised either.

Davy


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Omagh
Age: 53
Posts: 3116
Registered: 12 / 2011
My Motorhome:
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 12.04.2018  ·  #13
Great work Davy.


ntg
Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Portglenone. Co Antrim
Posts: 1449
Registered: 04 / 2012
My Motorhome:
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 12.04.2018  ·  #14
Quote by Davy

I received an email today from N. Down & Ards council which follows on from my involvement in the council area tourist development plan and the subsequent survey that many of you completed.

The council is now actively looking at the provision of Aires at
Luke’s point,
Ballywalter amenity centre,
Portaferry ( as part of a bigger development) and
Groomsport harbour.

They are also considering Motorhome parking at,
Millisle beach park,
Cloughey main road,
Shore road Whiterock,
Island hill and
National trust Greyabbey (subject to agreements)

They have asked me to open the subject to your thoughts on these locations. I in turn have asked them to include us in the active implementation of any developments in order to get the best result for all parties.
Thoughts on location within the carparks would probably be useful with regard to size of Motorhomes, access routes, slopes, views (if possible) etc.
It might be useful to have a few site visits to assess the suitability of locations. I would expect that one or two of you might help me with this aspect, especially if you have knowledge of specific locations. This will assist by allowing us to more fully advise the council as to what is the best plan is for each spot, as their knowledge will be limited as to the needs and wishes of our community.

This development has the ability to be a game changer for parking in the north, so lets make the most of it.

I intend to provide the relevant council officers with a link to this topic to allow them to monitor individual thoughts.

Unless the survey turned up something unusual, we shall be asking for simple drive over grey drains and a black disposal point together with protected taps (vandal and cassette proof) at the locations selected to be aires. So the discussion really centres on locations and suitability.

We look forward to your participation.

Davy



While I am not from that area I would be willing to support you in any way that I can, with a little bit of planning I would be available for meetings to assist in getting these locations up and running which might help other boroughs see what they are missing out on.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

LAST CHANCE TO CONTRIBUTE

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #15
I spent a pleasent day yesterday visiting all but one of the potential locations being considered for parking by N. Down & Ards council. I was joined by Mark for 4 or 5 that are local to him. Useful to have another pair of eyes and brain to compare thoughts.
I also have some great feedback on Millisle from the fat controller and Ally has posted thoughts on Island Hill near Newtownards.

I want to get something submitted to the council by next week and will spend time over the weekend pulling it together. I would value any other input from members who know or have stayed at the locations in question. Feel free to PM me if you don’t want to post on open forum.

Davy


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: co down
Posts: 186
Registered: 09 / 2014
My Motorhome: 1995 swift royal 610
Base Vehicle: Peugeot boxer
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #16
Always thought Millisle beach park would be a great place for motor homes loads of room


Eat's Sleep's craic
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Newry, Co Down
Age: 40
Posts: 551
Registered: 11 / 2016
My Motorhome: LMC Liberty 630R (LHD)
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.5 TD
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #17
I’d love to help but I dont really know the locations other than Millisle and haven’t stayed at it. I tend to head straight for the north coast or down the east but if more overnight spaces are available I would be more inclined to visit there rather than being really interested in a place and then try to find a spot to stay in that order. Basically it’s knowing an overnight space is available and welcoming that would draw me in. If I am planning somewhere to go I base it on the parking app first and foremost so would avoid towns or even counties or regions that don’t seem very welcoming for Motorhomes. So if North Down increased parking spots and were more welcoming then that area would move way up my list to visit.

Having somewhere within walking distance to spend money would reap more benefits for the council than a very remote spot I would think so they would be the focus for any services. Basic parking would do for more remote spots?


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #18
Hi Gavin,

I know you are new to motorhoming, and I appreciate the support you have shown on this crusade. I think in time the council will wise up (hopefully in my lifetime) and begin to look at provision in south Down. As a local I reckon you will be in a good position to help out.

As it happens, you have given me a good quote, which I propose to include in the submission.

“I tend to head straight for the north coast or down the east but if more overnight spaces are available I would be more inclined to visit there rather than being really interested in a place and then try to find a spot to stay in that order. Basically it’s knowing an overnight space is available and welcoming that would draw me in.”

Sums it up nicely.

Davy


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co Wicklow
Age: 68
Posts: 3489
Registered: 01 / 2015
My Motorhome: Matilda.
Base Vehicle: Rust 02-Sprinter German engineered from recycled 1960 Fiats
Subject:

Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #19
Quote by Davy

Hi Gavin,

I know you are new to motorhoming, and I appreciate the support you have shown on this crusade. I think in time the council will wise up (hopefully in my lifetime) and begin to look at provision in south Down. As a local I reckon you will be in a good position to help out.

As it happens, you have given me a good quote, which I propose to include in the submission.

“I tend to head straight for the north coast or down the east but if more overnight spaces are available I would be more inclined to visit there rather than being really interested in a place and then try to find a spot to stay in that order. Basically, it’s knowing an overnight space is available and welcoming that would draw me in.”

Sums it up nicely.

Davy

Spot on Davy, that's a quote I will use also, down here.


Eat's Sleep's craic
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Newry, Co Down
Age: 40
Posts: 551
Registered: 11 / 2016
My Motorhome: LMC Liberty 630R (LHD)
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.5 TD
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 25.04.2018  ·  #20
No problem, quote away especially if it can be applied to any locality. It’s the combination of knowing it is there and a positive review on the app that closes the circle. The only Aire I know in south Down is Annalong and it was off my list initially and I am sure others until the more recent positive reviews and forum threads on changed people’s opinion of it.

I have potential contacts in Newry & Mourne as well as Armagh so if another council area is forging ahead I can highlight how other areas are missing a trick. I’m thinking of the likes of Georgian day in Armagh where piles of Motorhomes stayed in the rugby grounds near the City hotel overnight. Imagine if they could replicate that business on a more regular if smaller basis if they had somewhere suitable. The Council’s do talk to each other so if N Down shares their survey findings and experience it would help form a chain of locations. They do promote each other’s areas/events after all in their visitor information centres.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Bleary Craigavon County Down....
Age: 69
Posts: 1790
Registered: 07 / 2014
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 26.04.2018  ·  #21
Quote by gavster1

No problem, quote away especially if it can be applied to any locality. It’s the combination of knowing it is there and a positive review on the app that closes the circle. The only Aire I know in south Down is Annalong and it was off my list initially and I am sure others until the more recent positive reviews and forum threads on changed people’s opinion of it.

I have potential contacts in Newry & Mourne as well as Armagh so if another council area is forging ahead I can highlight how other areas are missing a trick. I’m thinking of the likes of Georgian day in Armagh where piles of Motorhomes stayed in the rugby grounds near the City hotel overnight. Imagine if they could replicate that business on a more regular if smaller basis if they had somewhere suitable. The Council’s do talk to each other so if N Down shares their survey findings and experience it would help form a chain of locations. They do promote each other’s areas/events after all in their visitor information centres.


Is there a precedent set in Armagh, where almost every night, vans are parked up along The Mall? Never been there at night time, but a friend was telling me, he often sees them there.


Eat's Sleep's craic
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Newry, Co Down
Age: 40
Posts: 551
Registered: 11 / 2016
My Motorhome: LMC Liberty 630R (LHD)
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 2.5 TD
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 26.04.2018  ·  #22
I’m not sure. Can be hard to get parked during the day there if busy. Far side of the mall (planetarium side) would be easier and less busy where you can park broadside. I see some parked in the spaces just inside the entrance for the Palace Demense for day parking. I plan to try to get that Ardglass article to some key folk in Armagh and maybe Newry if I can.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 08.05.2018  ·  #23
Feed back on the potential locations with advice was submitted to N.Down & Ards council last Monday. Hopefully it will help progress the process a little more.

Davy


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 16.06.2018  ·  #24
Mark and I met with officials of the N. Down and Ards council yesterday at their request. They wanted to get an insight into Motorhomes, aires and other technical aspects of our hobby.

A very useful hour of chat and questions answered for them. They want to meet with us in future as their programme of rural tourism develops.

I have to say that I am very pleased with their outlook and willingness to work towards further provision.

A word of thanks to Baguette also for a valuable insight into the Cobh spacing of parking bays.



Davy


Craic'er
Avatar
Gender: n/a
Posts: 56
Registered: 06 / 2018
My Motorhome:
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 16.06.2018  ·  #25
This sounds great as it's exactly the kinds of areas we would like to explore if we actually jump and buy a motorhome. Some EHU points would be good as I'm not sure our budget will stretch to solar panels at first (ignore me if they cost 50p to fit, I'm a total newb :-D )


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Location: Co. Down
Age: 65
Posts: 1177
Registered: 09 / 2011
My Motorhome: Hymer B598 PL
Base Vehicle: Fiat 130 hp multijet
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 16.06.2018  ·  #26
Hi dewagon, welcome to the forum. I hope you find a good van in the not too distant future.
I am not campaigning for EHU on the aires that are being considered for a variety of reasons. It is expensive to provide, needs maintained on a regular basis, encourages people to stay for longer than the normal 48 or 72 hour limit on staying. I have seen heated arguments about the fair use of the points. An increasing number of vans install solar in order to remain independent for long periods (together with led bulbs). It is not a hardship to move after a few days to charge the batteries or book into a site for a night. I am also trying to encourage the council to provide lots of parking locations at the lowest possible development cost to the councils. Once a basic provision is made we can look at upgrades in the future.

The one group who might benefit from EHU are those with mobility scooters or other medical issues requiring electricity. Since there are very few locations throughout the whole island, those users have developed a pattern of use to suit their needs. Most of the locations being discussed are simple parking with only 3 or 4 having services at diverse places in the district.

Davy


Craic'er
Avatar
Gender: n/a
Posts: 56
Registered: 06 / 2018
My Motorhome:
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 16.06.2018  ·  #27
That all makes sense Davy, thanks. Thanks for all your work on this as having the confidence of safe, accessible parking spaces will be a big help for first timers like us.


Craic Lifer
Avatar
Gender:
Age: 62
Posts: 753
Registered: 10 / 2012
My Motorhome: Hobby Siesta
Base Vehicle:
Subject:

Re: Aire provision in N. Down Ards

 · 
Posted: 16.06.2018  ·  #28
Good man Davy keep up the good work.


Selected quotes for multi-quoting:   0

Registered users in this topic

Currently no registered users in this section

The statistic shows who was online during the last 5 minutes. Updated every 90 seconds.