THE COUNCIL has been heavily criticised for failing to present a long-term vision for the site of the defunct Balleally Landfill facility as it backs away from previous commitments to have a major public park on the site.
Cllr Ken Farrell (Lab) has demanded a longterm plan for the site and said that it ' beggar's belief ' that the council does not have plans already in place for the future of the site. The local authority told Cllr Farrell: 'A sum of €100,000 will be included in the 2013 Draft Budget, to be considered by the County Council on December 18th, for phase 1 of the works to allow public access. ' This comprises a path and fencing along the southern and eastern boundaries and car parking at the western entrance.' But beyond 2013, the picture is much less clear, with the council saying: 'Due to the operation of the restoration works being carried out in 2013 no further access is practical at this stage. ' The capital and revenue budgets for 2014 and beyond will determine if further works are to be carried out. The exact nature of the facilities, other than public access, to be provided in later phases remain to be determined.' While Cllr Farrell welcomed the immediate €100,000 investment to provide some public access to the site he called for a report next spring with 'structured plans' for the future of the site over the next four or five years and said it ' beggars belief ' that the council could not present such plans. Senior engineer at the council, John Daly said the site is never going to be a 'pretty looking park with plants' but more of a 'wild and rough facility' where the views from it are the real amenity for the public. Cllr David O'Connor (NP) backed calls for a five or ten-year plan for the site and asked where a previous plan he had seen had gone. Mr Daly said that plan still existed but was 'not hugely detailed'. Cllr Tom O'Leary (FG) also backed called for a long-term plan for the site and said the council ' has to have some sort of ambition for this site' as to pay the people of Lusk back for the burden it carried in hosting the landfill facility in its community.