Unhappy campers in Dooradoyle after controversial holiday van gets the boot

Photo: Booking.com.

THE OWNERS of a campervan in Dooradoyle that was operating as a short-term rental have been told by Limerick City and County Council to stop advertising the property because they don’t have the correct planning permission.

Amid widespread discussions around the cost and availability of both long and short-term accommodation, the campervan in Dooradoyle was offering nightly accommodation and was advertised on booking website Booking.com.

The camper is located in the Ballykeeffe Estate in Dooradoyle and is advertised as a “campervan experience” at a nightly rate of €87.

The owners of the campervan are offering bed and breakfast accommodation, with two beds and free WiFi and parking.

Following complaints from residents and councillors in the area, the Council opened an investigation into the matter and served the owners with an Enforcement Notice under Section 154 of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

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Section 154 of the Planning Act states that an Enforcement Notice will be issued “in respect of a development where no permission has been granted, [and] require that development to cease or not to commence, as appropriate,” and “require such steps as may be specified in the notice to be taken within a specified period, including, where appropriate, the removal, demolition or alteration of any structure and the discontinuance of any use.”

Commenting on the online advertising, local independent councillor Fergus Kilcoyne says that residents in the area are “furious” that the camper is being advertised in a residential area.

“This is a long established residential area, not a public holiday camp site,” Councillor Kilcoyne said.

Councillor Kilcoyne pointed to legislation which states that any short-term let within a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) requires clearance to be used as such, by the local authority.

All three of Limerick City’s local electoral areas are within pressure zones.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, Councillor Kilcoyne said that the use of the campervan as a short-term letting is not acceptable in the area and is causing outrage among residents.

“This is not acceptable. Strangers are walking into the end of the estate with suitcases at all times of the day and night, there is no planning permission for this type of development here –  it’s purely a residential area.”

Former Mayor and Fine Gael councillor for the area, Daniel Butler, agreed that the campervan is in a “highly inappropriate location.”

“I was contacted by some concerned residents in relation to this as there are two units onsite, one in the driveway, and a campervan on the main road. These are both in a highly inappropriate location in a residential housing estate,” he said.

“Following those complaints made to me, I made a formal complaint to Limerick Council Planning Enforcement section,” Cllr Butler concluded.

The spokesman added that all complaints relating to unauthorised developments can be sent by e-mail directly to the Council on enforcements@limerick.ie.