Planners recommend campsites at Killyleagh outdoor education site

Planners recommend campsites at Killyleagh outdoor education site

15 November 2023

PLANNERS are recommending that plans for two new campsites and ancillary buildings at the Killyleagh Outdoor Education Centre should be approved.

The Education Authority proposal for 12 six-metre diameter tent bases with precast concrete kerb surrounds on one of the campsites and 13 bases on the other, is set to be rubber-stamped at today’s meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s Planning Committee.

The campsites on the shores of Strangford Lough will be separated by a toilet/shower building and a separate one for cooking and washing.  There will also be two teepees.

The shower building measures eight metres by 6.4 metres in height, with the cooking building measure 7.3 metres by 6.4 metres and is four metres high.

The materials and finishes include walls cladded with weatherboard oak effect, a blue/black metal roof and charcoal uPVC windows and external doors. The facia and soffit will be powder coated black aluminium.

Planners have received 11 letters objecting to the proposal for the Shore Road facility with a number suggesting that Delamont Country Park would be a better location for the proposed campsites.

The objectors’ main issues of concern include the “unfitness” of the road which services the outdoor centre, road safety concerns and increased air pollution created by vehicles.

In addition, objectors point to the absence of a footpath along the Shore Road, noise generated at the proposed campsite, impact on privacy and overlooking adjacent properties, a potential security risk, the impact on wildlife and the character of the area, in particular nesting birds and badgers, and flooding issues.

In papers submitted ahead of today’s planning meeting, the layout of the proposed campsites is detailed and includes a four metre wide access road.



In relation to car parking, planners say adequate provision will be required, with the precise number of spaces determined according to the specific characteristics of the development. They say the proposal should not “prejudice or significantly inconvenience” traffic flow.

The planning papers also reveal the campsites proposals involve relocating the existing Shore Road entrance almost two metres further south with a new 1.8 metre palisade fence and new two metre wide footpath.

There will be no minibuses or coaches bringing children to the site, according to the planning papers, with camps held over a five day period.

Planners say that on balance, given the conditions imposed by the council’s environmental health committee, it is is considered that the proposal will not result in any “significant or unacceptable” residential impact on any adjoining properties, or character of the area, due to its design, size and location.

They also say it isn’t envisaged that the proposed buildings and structures would not have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties in terms of loss of privacy, light and outlook.

Planners say the campsites proposal represents an appropriate form of development that would nit be visually harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

They argue it would not cause unacceptable harm to visual or residential amenity or road safety.

The planners add: “Given the scale and nature of the proposal, it would be considered an appropriate scale for its urban location. The proposal is considered to comply with relevant planning policies.”

Approval is being recommended on the grounds that work on the development starts within five years and no work can start before vehicular access and visibility displays are provided along with forward sight distances and no development can start until the proposed new footpath is in place, in tandem with the submission of a street lighting scheme.