Wednesday 22 May 2019

Public consultation to begin on controversial Castlelands Master Plan

John Manning

Fingal County Council's Master Plan for the lands at Castlelands, Balbriggan, goes out for public consultation over the next three weeks from Tuesday, May 7 to Tuesday, May 28.

The Master Plan, according to Fingal County Council is designed to create 'an appropriate sustainable planning and development framework for a 24.2 hectare residential zoned site at Castlelands'.

The council said: 'This will ensure the coordination of the complimentary social, community and physical infrastructure in tandem with housing development on these lands.'

Fingal County Council is proposing that social and community facilities be provided in advance of housing on the Master Plan lands.

This would mean the early delivery and provision of a strategic central area of public open space, a primary school site and recreational facilities, which would include meeting the local demand for a swimming pool in Balbriggan, according to the local authority.

The completion of the Castlelands Link Road to the Skerries Road, which will involve the construction of a bridge over the Dublin-Belfast rail line, will also be a priority within the first phase of the development.

'We are very conscious of the need to ensure that Balbriggan develops in a sustainable manner and our approach to the Castlelands Master Plan reflects this,; said AnnMarie Farrelly, Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure at Fingal County Council.

She added: 'We have taken on board the feedback from the initial public consultation last August and are proposing that strategic infrastructure, such as the link road, open spaces and recreational facilities, go in first before the housing is delivered.

'This is a strategic land bank which is close to the town centre and requires a high quality solution that will benefit existing as well as future residents of Castlelands and Balbriggan.

'The Castlelands Master Plan is aligned to the Balbriggan Socio Economic Strategy which will be supported by €10 million capital fund allocation over the next three year while an additional capital sum, in excess of €10million, has also been allocated for the completion of the Balbriggan to Skerries Greenway, the development of Bremore Castle into a premier visitor destination, the development of Bremore Regional Amenity Park, and upgrades to cycle ways and connectivity in the town.

'As the local authority, we are working with residents and other key stakeholders to transform Balbriggan and we have already introduced free town centre Wi-Fi and a Heritage Trail while contractors have just moved on site to construct the new Skate Park.'

Fingal County Council has organised a Public Information Evening in Castlelands Community Centre, Balbriggan, on Tuesday, May 21, between 4pm and 8pm, where members of the public and other interested groups are invited to drop-in and talk directly to members of the Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department about the draft Master Plan.

Fingal Independent