The government has announced that the Sulby Claddagh campsite will be open to campers for the whole of the upcoming season.
Initially, just one day after a public meeting, the government planned to open the Claddagh solely for the TT races but it has now gone a step further.
It will be open from May 3 to September 6 following public feedback, after which the government said that it would open the campsite on a cost-neutral basis.
Due to the campsite being unregistered, a permit must be bought before booking a pitch.
Weekly, fortnightly and full-season permits are available and there are specific permits for the TT and Manx Grand Prix. The price for permits has been increased to reflect the government’s calculation of the costs of opening the facility.
A season permit now costs £100.
Stephen Curphey, who also runs the Ballamoar campsite in Ballaugh, will take over the Sulby Claddagh this year.
The Ballamoar site announced on March 5 that the forthcoming season would also be its last season in operation, due to ‘an uncertain future and difficulties and timing issues renewing our lease with the landowners’.
The statement says: ‘In 2024, we will possibly be only operating for the TT, Southern 100, MGP and a few select weekends as we close the campsite finally on September 22, 2024.
‘We do not know if the campsite will continue in 2025 or beyond, as this will be up to the current landowners, however, it will no longer be under our management.’
Michelle Haywood MHK, a member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘After listening to public opinion, it was agreed to find a solution that allowed the site to operate on a cost-neutral basis.’
The government held a public meeting at the Sulby Glen Hotel to hear the people’s opinions of its move to close the Claddagh to campers.
Mrs Haywood continued: ‘The unfortunate consequence of this is that permit costs will rise significantly this year for site users so that the running costs are fully funded by the users and not from limited Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture funds.
‘We recognise that the scale of the permit cost increases will seem very large to some, but we believe that £100 for a season pass, with no additional pitch fees to be paid, still represents exceptional value for money.’
The government has also launched a six-week public consultation into the running of the site so the public can share their thoughts on the future of the Sulby Claddagh campsite. This closes on Friday, May 26, just three days before TT practice week.
A government spokesperson said: ‘This consultation seeks to understand how the land can be best used for the community, whilst not incurring a cost to the taxpayer.
‘It also outlines some possible options and encourages people to discuss how they use the space and submit ideas.’