Moyle scraps Ballintoy ‘aire de service’

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Moyle Council will NOT now provide campervan facilities and showers at Ballintoy Harbour.

After a lengthy discussion at last Monday’s meeting of Moyle District Council, a vote was taken to scrap the project, prompting Cllr Cara McShane to describe the decision as “lunacy”.

Council had considered installing what are known as “aire de service” facilities for campervans in Ballintoy.

However, Cllr Joan Baird said she objected to Council entering into competition with the private sector businesses in the Moyle area who, she said, had made huge investment in providing just such services for tourists.

Cllr Randal McDonnell pointed out that Council was already in competition with the private sector by running caravan parks but he also added that he felt great sympathy for both sides of the argument as campervan owners were genuine tourists who had every right to visit the area and expect proper facilities.

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Donal Cunningham reminded members that the debate was actually about the fact that the lowest tender contractor had now withdrawn and that the remaining tenders were over the Council’s budget.

Cllr Sandra Hunter said that she had no real problem with the dea of the project - and would particularly welcome showers to facilitate the many watersports enthusiasts in tehe area - but said that it was “all about accountability” and added: “We are way above budget.”

Cllr Cara McShane said that the project provided a “prime opportunity to avail of rural development funding” and to develop the infrastructure of Ballintoy. She urged fellow councillors to look “five, ten, fifteen, 20 years down the line and not stagnate”.

Cllr McShane put forward an amendment to proceed with the project at Ballintoy but could not find a seconder, prompting her to respond: “Poor decision making costs money.”

A proposal to scrap the project was voted on and won by seven votes to two.