Laois is famously the most landlocked county in Ireland, but in February the County Council gave the go-ahead for an ambitious new project – a beach in Errill.
A beach resort is on its way to Laois after County Council planners gave the proposal the green light.
Laois may be about as far away from the coastline as you can get – but it hasn’t stopped Iveta Melgaile and Patrick Bowe.
They applied for permission to construct a glamping development to include a Pond Beach Resort at Clomeen North in Errill.
The development will include three double units, two single units, a spa treatment unit, sauna, barbecue hut, sports activity area, fire pit, outdoor amenity area and parking.
While the wheelchair-accessible Pond Beach Resort will offer luxury self-contained pond-view rooms.
Each of the five units will have their own hot tub, resting area and front yard with a barbecue area.
Two full and two part-time jobs will be created at the development on the site where the the pair currently operate The Ranch Cabin, a small luxury rental.
The planning application outlines the extensive plans that are in place for the area.
It says that the resort “will be surrounded with exotic plants and palm trees as well as a white stone beach with double sun-loungers and large day beds for couples.
“It has been positioned in a way that the sun catches the beach all day long from sunrise to sunset and will bloom with water lilies.
“Typical of this setting, visitors will have the pleasure of watching dragonflies playing and listening to spring birds, birds hotels in wooded areas for spring nesting; swans and ducks have shown an interest in the pond and it is hoped that they will integrate.
“A large pit will provide local musicians and storytellers for the guests, as well as sports for guests such as basketball; life-size chess pieces, volleyball and mini-golf will also be available.”
Speaking to Midlands 103, Iveta, who grew up along the coast in Latvia, says she wasn’t enjoying being land-locked.
She said: “I missed water so much and the bath just wasn’t cutting it for me.
“It is wonderful in the summer time when you have the weather, you don’t even need to go to Spain or anywhere.
“You can just go out into your back garden and enjoy the beauty of it.
“There are no cars, no sounds – it is just birds and it is beautiful.”