Meeting about Rocks Valley
A PUBLIC meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 4, to discuss plans to install an ‘eco park’ at Rocks Valley, near Kilcoole.
The meeting will take place at the Greystones Municipal District office, beside the South Beach car park. Wicklow County Council officials Des O’Brien, Marc Devereux and Amy O’Farrell spoke to members about the matter at the monthly Municipal District meeting last Tuesday night.
‘One of the questions was about the alternatives we considered,’ said Mr Devereux. ‘ This isn’t the only game in town,’ he said. ‘It’s the current proposal.’
He said that the officials have been in discussions with local people with regard to the plans which involve using material from the River Dargle to infill the land there.
He said that 15 sites had been considered but this was the preferred one. ‘We think it’s a good use of the space,’ said Mr Devereux. He said that the council owned land could be reclaimed, using materials from the Dargle. ‘We haven’t finalised what the final use will be and that’s the reason why there is continued engagement.’
Cllr Gerry Walsh asked how the meetings were going. The members heard that they have been very well managed, courteous and involving counter proposals and suggestions. Cllr Jennifer Whitmore asked if there was a deadline to finalise plans. ‘We don’t have a drop-dead date for applications but time is marching on,’ said Mr Devereux. He said that ideally they would like to have plans in by the end of May, ‘ but we want to continue the conversation.’
Cllr Tom Fortune said that he would like a report showing the progression made in negotiations and what the points of discussion are.
Amy O’Farrell said that it has emerged that many of the goals and objectives of the officials and the locals are common. ‘We recognised the importance of the site as a green area for the people of Kilcoole and they see that too,’ she said.
Cllr Derek Mitchell wondered if a park was created that was open to the public, would it be maintained in a satisfactory manner.
The infill plans were postponed earlier this year for further consultation to take place. If an infill site proceeds, it will take 18 months to complete.
‘Despite these meetings, it’s proceeding regardless,’ said Cllr Tom Fortune. However Des O’Brien said ‘if that was the case, the application would have gone in two months ago.
‘It’s not a fait accompli,’ he said. ‘People can still make submissions.’