A bid to develop a large commercial campground on the road to Cape Spear has met with unanimous rejection from St. John's city council.
The 21-acre area at Blackhead would have included 16 cabins and 181 sites that could accommodate tents and recreational vehicles, but would have meant too much traffic and noise, councillors concluded at their regular meeting on Monday evening.
Coun. Wally Collins said the proposal also would have raised concerns about fire safety, as there is only one way in and out of the area.
"If you get  to 700 people there in the night time, one cigarette butt — that place goes up," Collins said.
"The people from Blackhead are caught inside. They can't get out, they can't even get out [on] Maddox Cove Road. The only place they can go is more or less jump in the ocean," he said.
Many residents in the Blackhead area had opposed the proposal as unsuitable for the area.
Support for proponents Dave Francis and Bob Smith, though, had come from different quarters, including the East Coast Trail Association.
Councillors admitted that more campgrounds are needed in St. John's, but the proposed location was not appropriate.
Coun. Shannie Duff said she too was concerned about safety risks, including fire.
"If there is only one exit from that area and you are putting the equivalent of a small town in that area, I think that is a sufficient reason that I cannot in the final instance support it," Duff said.