The development of rural tourism in the Sperrins has been supported in two planning decisions.
At this month’s meeting of Mid Ulster District Council’s Planning Committee, a cluster of self-catering holiday chalets was approved, as was an application to widen existing access to Davagh Forest to facilitate the new ‘dark skies observatory and visitor centre’ being created there.
A total of 5 holiday units at Mill Road, Cookstown, received the green light, improving opportunities for visitors to stay in the area close to Davagh Forest, Drum Manor Forest and Beaghmore Stone Circles and enjoy the heritage and outdoor activities on offer.
The widening of the existing entrance at Davagh Forest along with the creation of passing bays, are considered essential to ensure ease of access for visitors drawn to the new star-gazing experience, complete with exhibition and telescope, which is to open in 2020.
Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Cáthal Mallaghan, welcomed the decisions:
“We need to support diversification and tourism development in our rural communities and the planning process has a very clear and positive part to play in ensuring we can grow this part of our economy in a sustainable manner.
“Developments like these at Davagh and in the surrounding area will greatly enhance the visitor experience and I look forward to seeing the projects delivered”.