A new luxury glamping site could be set to make a splash at Lough Ross in south Armagh.
The development – which would also include a watersports and recreation centre – would prove a huge attraction for tourists and delight locals too.
The facilities are being proposed by Crossmaglen man, Larry Martin.
He has put together plans for an exciting development to offer something for all ages and tastes, while making the most of the stunning setting.
The earmarked site is on “lands at 11 Lough Ross Road, Crossmaglen”. It is listed currently as “undeveloped land on the lough shoreline”.
Described in his application to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as a “tourism development”, his proposals are anchored by the provision of “six luxury glamping pods”.
There would also be a visitors and office building and a boathouse, as well as two jetties and a recreational boardwalk.
The proposals also incorporate landscaping, parking – a total of nine spaces to be precise – and other associated site works.
Lough Ross straddles the border between County Armagh and County Monaghan and, according to a design and access statement, Newry Council had previously identified it as “amongst potential venues for development of watersports facilities”.
There had been government-backed plans previously for glamping pods, recreational facilities, fishing stands and a children’s play park.
But the design statement explains that no application was ever brought forward for the delivery of these facilities either due to lack of funding or other issues, before adding: “This application now proposes to fulfil these previous ambitions, in a developer funded scheme which will be open to the public and carry the same benefits to the local community as the previous scheme would have done.”
The proposed office and tourist building would include an equipment storage area, small office, laundry room, outdoor pergola area for cycle stands or outdoor seating and a staff accommodation unit.
A modern single-storey structure, it would include the administrative area where residents of the glamping pods would “check in and get relevant information for their stay”.
The glamping pods themselves are a new level of special!
According to the design statement: “The proposal contains six luxury glamping pods staggered in a row along the lough shore.
“They are of modern hexagonal design, accessed via a new boarded walkway separated by soft landscaping, giving one bedroom, a kitchenette and sitting area and a small bathroom within each of them.
“The accommodation pods are sited along the lough shore, cantilevering into Lough Rosss with accompanying jetty.
“Each pod has its own outdoor seating deck and hot tub area.
“A walkway off the car park and office and tourist building serves as access to the pods.”
The development proposes “communal facilities” too, including a recreation centre, and two new jetties for activities associated with Lough Ross.
These communal facilities will be open to both guests visiting the holiday park, as well as the general public, providing water-based activities for the local community.
Such activities include kayaking, paddle boards and wind surfing, with hire facilities available, as well as fishing boats, lake trips and even yoga!
The recreation centre would be located to the southern part of the site adjoining the existing public facilities of the jetty, public car park, toilets, picnic area, footpath and MUGA pitch.
The proposed building provides communal changing areas and showering facilities, a small catering provision area, an instruction area, toilets and an office.
Two new jetties are planned – one to serve the residential accommodation beside the glamping pods – and the other at the Tourist Recreation Centre.
Both areas are connected by a recreational boardwalk which provides pedestrian access between the facilities and once again is open to the public.
The proposals would represent a significant investment in the area, as well as creating jobs during development and upon completion.
And the developer says it would be in keeping with the area and provide a much-needed attraction and activities.
“The proposed layout of the development has been considered to make best use of the open views onto the Lough, whilst providing an informal cluster of buildings, with the lough side glamping pods and the associated offices and visitor building, all separated by soft landscaping,” adds the statement.
The proposals will now be advertised shortly and a decision made in due course.
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published 2023-07-13 13:15:47