Swords councillors have expressed their frustrations at the ongoing delays in developing the Ward River Valley Park in Swords as a regional park and advancing a masterplan for the park.
Green Party councillor, Ian Carey raised the issue at a recent Area Committee Meeeting where he put forward a motion calling on the council to “commence the public consultation on the Ward Rivervalley Masterplan as soon as possible and to outline in detail the reasons for yet further delays”.
In response, the council issued a report stating: “The focus to date in the park has been on the development of the recreational hub currently underway. However, it is anticipated the procurement phase for an integrated design team to undertake the Park Development Project will be concluded this summer. Having regard to the scale of the park the first phase of work for the appointed consultant will be to undertake detailed baseline surveys and detailed analysis to best inform future proposals. Notwithstanding the considerable work involved for this stage, it is anticipated that public consultation on the project will commence later this year. Members will be kept up to date on proposals in this regard as the project progresses.”
Cllr Carey said the Ward River Valley is the “lungs of Swords” and described the park as “the greatest area of untapped potential in Swords”.
He added: “I would love to see this project move forward quickly. There are promises to develop this project going back six or seven years at this stage. We need to get grip of this project and allowing this to drag on is not without consequence.”
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) agreed and said the council needed to get this plan out on public display as soon as possible so “the people of Swords can have their say”. He acknowledged that the project had been delayed because of land ownership issues and welcomed that those issues have now been resolved. Cllr Ann Graves (SF) said the project is “dragging out too long” and insisted that councillors needed firm timelines on what work is to be done and when. Cllr Joe Newman (NP) agreed and said that “once again, Swords seems to be at the back of the queue”, while Cllr Brigid Manton said the park had not received the same input of resources as Fingal’s regional parks and deserved greater attention.