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  • Northside East

Council scraps Malahide amenity plan

Wednesday, 14th December, 2016 8:00am

Story by Pat O'Rourke
Council scraps Malahide amenity plan

FLASHBACK: Avril McDermott and Noel Mahon with the petition and postcards back in August.

Council scraps Malahide amenity plan

FLASHBACK: Avril McDermott and Noel Mahon with the petition and postcards back in August.

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FINGAL County Council has conceded defeat in its bid to construct a new amenity in one of the Northside’s best-known parks.

In July the council granted planning permission for a Forest Adventure Area and Reinforced Multi-Use Grass Area in Malahide Demesne.

However, the plan was mired in controversy from the outset when a large number of local residents voiced their opposition to the proposal.

Following a legal challenge that was mounted to oppose the development by the Save Malahide Castle Woodlands and Bridgefield group, the council has decided to look at building the amenity at an alternative site in the county.

In a statement the council said it has decided, following an assessment of the implications of a legal challenge that has been initiated against it, not to proceed with the project. 

“The important factors for the council in reaching this decision were the potential costs of, and were the potential costs of, and resources involved in, the case; the length of time it would take to defend the legal challenge; and the implications the delay would have, in particular, for the council’s proposals to provide for overflow car-parking for Malahide,” a spokesperson said. 

“The council will now seek to establish a Forest Adventure Area in another location within the county and it remains committed to expanding, in an environmentally-sustainable way, the range of open space amenities available to the citizens of Fingal as well as domestic and international visitors.

“As regards the Multi-Use Reinforced Grass Area, the arrangements necessary for the management of significant public events in Malahide will now be reassessed.”

The council thanked all those who participated in the process and the public consultation relating to the proposal. 

“While recognising the benefits it would have brought to Malahide and Fingal, for the reasons outlined, the council executive has taken the pragmatic decision not to proceed with the project in its current format,” the spokesperson added.

The Save Malahide Castle Woodlands and Bridgefield group welcomed the conclusion to its successful campaign. 

A spokesman for the group said: “The campaign to oppose the development was based on the community’s opposition to further over-commercialisation of the castle 

demesne by the council’s plans to turn a GAA pitch into a multi-use hard surface area and to construct a fee-paying zip-wire adventure centre in the woodlands. 

“The campaign received huge support from the local community as can be seen from the 6,000 plus people who signed their petitions, the nearly 1,000 people who wrote separately to the council chief executive Paul Reid, the 900 plus people attending the two public events held in the demesne and the 23,000 plus on social media who follow the updates.”

The group thanked all those who participated in its campaign.  

“It is very rare that local communities can successfully stand up to oppose over-commercialism and protect our heritage for everyone to enjoy,” the spokesman added. “They are to be applauded.”

If built, the Forest Adventure facility would have allowed visitors to navigate various circuits through the treetops of Malahide Demense using rope bridges, ziplines and cargo nets. 

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