With well over half of the holiday homes in Kilkee unoccupied for the most part of the year, it has now emerged that there are actually more mobile homes in the resort that residents.
And at a public meeting in the community centre, called because of the concerns about the proliferation of mobile homes in the town, the resident population issued a clear and unequivocal message that “enough is enough”.
Local businessman John Williams said that while the mobile homes are a valuable accommodation bases for a large number of tourists, the fact of the mater is that there are now more mobile homes in Kilkee than people.
“The message from the meeting was cut and dried; residents don’t want any more mobile homes and that was it,” he told The Clare Champion.
The attendees at the public meeting included elected members of Clare County Council as well as candidates in the next local elections. “They will have been left in no doubt that the people of Kilkee do not want any more new mobile home parks or extensions to the present ones,” he said.
Mr Williams pointed out that there are over 1,000 mobile homes in Kilkee while the population is a little over 900. “The majority of people in Kilkee don’t want any more mobile homes. There are over 1,000 of them as it stands. I suppose you can get too much of a good thing,” he added.
The Kilkee businessman said that the County Development Plan stipulates there should be no more mobile homes in the resort. “The fact is that has not been carried out to the letter because there have been extensions of mobile homes. There weren’t to be any unless there was major investment, otherwise there were to be no more.”
Asked if he felt council weren’t adhering to the provisions of their own County Development Plan, Mr Williams said, “Well I wouldn’t like to say that. Certainly the County Development Plan states quite clearly that the development of mobile homes should be dissuaded for want of a better word.”
However, he emphasised that with the combination of holiday homes and mobile homes and allowing for four people per unit, there was capacity for 8,000 people to sleep in Kilkee.
“I suppose you cannot overlook that fact either. It isn’t all gloom. Holiday homes are structures, they are buildings that can be sold on to somebody at some stage. However, mobile homes don’t add anything extra to the town,” he maintained.
Mr Williams said there is a demand in Kilkee for parks where people in camper vans can overnight and where people can pitch their tens. “There is a certain demand for a number of those sort of sites and it is also the aim of Clare County Council to facilitate such sites,” he said.