Saturday 24 March 2018

Call for action at beach area

Cllr Tony Murphy.
Cllr Tony Murphy.

It has been recognised by Fingal County Council that the Balbriggan Beach area which has been a problematic location for the town for many years, requires a long-term project and significant investment.

The issue has been an ongoing one for years, dating back to the time of Balbriggan Town Council and the campaign has been taken up in recent years by the area's county councillors.

The issue was raised again this month by Cllr Tony Murphy (IA) at a meeting of the Balbriggan/Swords Area Committee.

Cllr Murphy asked the local authority to 'deliver a design layout for Balbriggan beach area to include a meaningful maintenance programme with all stakeholders and provide the necessary funding in the budget'.

The council responded by first seeking to explain why the area has been such a problem and why it has proven difficult to address the issues there.

The local authority reported: 'The maintenance at this location has always been a challenge as it is part owned by Irish Rail. The area is also almost completely inaccessible for machinery so 70% of the required maintenance must be done by hand.'

For its own part, the local authority said: 'Fingal County Council have undertaken to schedule strimming maintenance every five weeks during the growing season since July this year, as the agreed maintenance programme between Fingal County Council and Irish Rail Until had become increasingly difficult to co-ordinate.'

Recognising the potential of the area and that a long-term solution is needed to ensure the area is improved and then properly maintained, the local authority reported: 'This area has incredible tourism potential and the real long-term solution would be to carry out a complete re-landscaping scheme at this location.'

However, the council admits that a project of that scale would not be straightforward. It explained: 'Due to its size and scale, a scheme of this magnitude would not be carried out as part of a normal Operation Department works programme, however senior management (at Fingal County Council) are discussing what options are available to ensure a plan can be prepared and hopefully avail of a grant funding option to ensure any agreed plans can be implemented subject to resources available.'

It remains to be seen whether the council can source that funding and progress the project.

Fingal Independent