A GRANT of €100,000 has been secured by Fingal County Council from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to progress plans to build a walkway across the estuary linking Malahide Demesne and Newbridge Demesne.
Updating local councillors on the progress of the plans at the Malahide/Howth Area Committee meeting this month, the council reported: 'A grant of € 100,000 has been received from the National Transport Authority to cover costs with regard to assessing the feasibility of the planned scheme to link Malahide Demesne with Newbridge Demesne. ' These monies are being used to gather the necessary information for the compilation of environmental reports, required to obtain the approvals outlined within legislation to enable such a scheme proceed. ' The completion of these reports will be advised to the funding authority with a view to obtaining further monies to bring approved scheme through design and tender stage.' Cllr Eoghan O'Brien (FF) who had asked about the status of the funding for the project welcomed the grant and said he looked forward to further progress on the project which he said had huge tourism potential for the area. Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) asked for a broader progress report on the project and was told by the local authority: ' For some months now, the council has engaged the services of a consultant ecologist to compile the required environmental reports which will form the contents of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for submission in due course to An Bord Pleanala. ' The submission of an EIS is part of the approval process required to bring the proposed walkway scheme to fruition. 'Quotations have been sought from firms of Consulting Engineers to resolve the feasibility issues arising from the proposal to any the construct such a walkway on the rail causeway across the Broadmeadow estuary. 'It is expected that a firm will be appointed to carry out these tasks shortly. Following the completion of an engineering assessment, details of a proposed project will be brought back to the elected representatives and to likely funding sources with a view to moving the project towards implementation stage.' Cllr Peter Coyle (Lab) said that it was important to remember that there was still an objective for a walkway around the estuary and not just over it at this point. He said he wanted to see both projects progressed and said the pathway around the estuary had even greater tourism potential and would be easier to achieve because much of the infrastructure is already in place. Cllr O'Brien agreed that both objectives should proceed but the walkway across the estuary from Donabate to Malahide across the viaduct was the ' logical first step'.