In recent days An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has approved planning permission for the development of the Hellfire Club site, a plan proposed by South Dublin County Council. The decision has sparked a wave of disappointment and shock throughout the local community.
Local groups including Save The Hellfire, local residents and some local politicians are very much opposed to the development and hugely disappointed and shocked by the An Bord Pleanála decision.
Cllr Alan Edge who represents the Firhouse-Bohernabreena LEA commented on the decision “I’m implacably opposed to the Hellfire Development and have been throughout the entire process. While it’s beyond doubt that more parking facilities are needed to facilitate larger numbers of people visiting these amenities, a €22 million Visitor Centre is a waste of money. As I’ve said time and again, you don’t need a €22 million building in order to enjoy a wood.”
Cllr Edge concluded “I’m disappointed that the report of the inspector has been ignored by ABP. I’m calling on the Chief Executive to rethink this project, in light of the financial crisis in which we now find ourselves and also the massive opposition from residents of South Dublin to the proposed Visitor Centre. A vastly scaled down intervention would be the right thing to do at this point, to facilitate access and safe parking and to provide basic amenities such as toilets. I’ll continue to support the campaign against the Dublin Mountain Visitor Centre and I hope very much that common sense will prevail and that the very real and very genuine concerns of local people will be listened to.”
According to South Dublin County Council’s website, they have welcomed the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the Dublin Mountains Visitor Centre which was a key recommendation of the Council’s Tourism Strategy when it was adopted in 2015. The planned Dublin Mountains Visitor Centre is a joint development by South Dublin County Council, Coillte and the Dublin Mountains Partnership to create a new ‘gateway’ to the Dublin Mountains located at the combined Massy’s Wood /Estate and Montpelier Hill incorporating the legendary Hell Fire Club site. At an estimated cost of €15 million, the centre will be constructed from natural materials and integrated into the landscape setting with extensive panoramic views of Dublin City.
To view the inspectors report and the ABP documentation on the approval click here.