Monday 16 September 2019

New plan will transform face of Bettystown

The face of Bettystown is set to change rapidly over the coming few years, with a plan to redesign the approaches to the beach - as well as some adjustments to the beach bye-laws, in a bid to make life a lot easier for humans, dogs and birds.

The structural changes will see a new development at the beach entrance to feature an area for lifeguards and an area for disabled visitors to enjoy the delights of the beach.

The consultants have been looking at the design and how to accommodate access to local shops. The council hope to be at Part 8 with the design by the start of October, then it goes through planning and out to tender by April 2020. They hope it will be open for business by mid 2021. At present, the cpuncil are also seeking to change the byelaws and are accepting comments until the end of August.

Two major issues have sparked great debate. It will be deemed illegal to bring or allow horses on to the Foreshore within the River Nanny Estuary and Shore SPA during the months of September to March inclusive (except for the Laytown Races) and to bring or allow horses to enter upon any part of the sand dunes within the Boyne Coast and Estuary SAC. Also, the council want to see all dogs kept on a lease at all times. A Natura Impact Statement was recently prepared for Laytown, Bettystown and Mornington Beach, together with a Beach Management Plan. The NIS noted that the Nanny Shore and Estuary SPA is the second most important site in Ireland for wintering birds and advised that dogs and horses must be restricted from the shore line from Sept through to March to protect this habitat.

The council believe the enforcement of the existing Foreshore Byelaws is not adequate to meet the obligations in terms of protecting these habitats. During the public consultation phase they received a number of submission stating that dogs should be on leads during the bathing season to prevent nuisence to bathers and other dogs, and in order to prevent dog fouling.

An issue wardens have faced with 'roaming' dogs is that when they ask someone to pick up after their dog, they will regularly say that they didn't know their dog had littered the beach. With this in mind the council propose to amend the foreshore byelaws to include dogs on leads for the protection and comfort of all beach users - humans, dogs and birds. They add, 'dogs and horses will always be welcome on beaches in Meath, with some rules which will benefit all.'

The Council welcomes views and comments until August 30th, in writing, by email or online at Submissions and observations can be made during this period, in writing, to: Senior Executive Officer, Environment Section, Meath County Council, Buvinda House, Dublin Rd, Navan, Co Meath Or by email to: Or  on-line: consultation portal Right The council want to make the beach a better place for everyone

Drogheda Independent