Residents have say over the boardwalk
Fingal Independent - wednesday october 03 2007
Fingal's Biodiversity Officer, Hans Visser presented the plan last week to members of the Malahide/Howth Area Committee.
Mr Visser said the council had established there was an informal demand for a pathway through the dunes and that the boardwalk offered a better chance to protect the dunes for the future.
The council proposes to build a 2.5km long and 1.2m wide sand-ladder pathway following the existing desire lines through the dunes.
On the golf-course side, a 1.5m to 1.8m high anti-climb fence is to be erected and on the seaward side of the pathway, a 1.2m high anti-climb fence will be erected along sections of the path.
The chainlink fencing currently at the northern edge of the dunes will be replaced with 1.2m high anti-climb fencing.
Cllr Peter Coyle (Lab) said the plan would face local opposition and the Portmarnock Community Association (PCA) would object to the project.
The Labour councillor said he favoured a public meeting on the issue before the plans went on public display.
Cllr Eoghan O'Brien (FF) wanted to know if the PCA had an alternative route for the boardwalk. He said hat if the boardwalk could protect the dunes, then it should go ahead.
Cllr David Healy (GP) reminded councillors the problems in coming up with a long-term solution for the dunes went back to a council decision to hand over land to the neighbouring golf club.
Cllr Alan Farrell (FG) said the council should press ahead with the plans. He understood the rationale behind objections to the plans but said there was only two alternatives to protect the dunes, build the boardwalk or fence the whole area off.
Fáilte Ireland has offered E210,000 towards the project which will now begin a period of public consultation after local councillors voted by three to two in favour of starting the process.
Cllr Peter Coyle (Lab) and Cllr David Healy (GP) voted against initiating the process.