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WCC Top Dog Presents Park Rebuttal


Following yesterday’s condemnation of the Greystones Dog Park by the town committee who first campaigned for it, Wicklow County Council have issued a reply…

The park has been constructed in accordance with the design outlined in the landscape plan, which was approved by members of Wicklow County Council.

The landscape plan for the park notes that the “the design of the park aims to protect the coastal amenity and scenic quality of the area while providing a safe and sustainable recreational park”. The undulating mounding “will complement the character of the surrounding landscape and be reminiscent of coastal dunes”. Biodiversity within the park will be supported and enhanced by the creation of “wildlife corridors linking with the landscape along the Bray Head walk”. The mounded areas within the park will shield the public from the cliff edge while also preserving areas of long grass from pedestrian traffic thereby supporting undisturbed wildlife corridors.

Application 17/664 which inter alia dealt with the design and layout of the linear park did not include provision for a dog park. The dog park was incorporated into the 18/371 application. The landscape plan and site layout submitted with application 18/371 provided detailed information on the concept behind that park and the design brief. The rationale for the design proposals for the Coastal Linear Park adjacent to North Beach was to provide a modern yet naturalistic park rooted in the coastal character of the site. The landscape plan positioned the dog park at the north eastern end close to the exit onto the Bray Head Walk. Contours lines shown on the landscape plan highlight different levels within the dog park with the designer conscious of the need to blend and integrate the dog park into the overall design brief for the park i.e. undulating areas reminiscent of coastal dunes – natural, sustainable and low maintenance. The landscape plan did not provide for a dog park with flat / level ground, short well-manicured grass etc. The design was roughly oval in shape with a graduated slope towards the centre of the park. The grassed area within the dog park will have a meadow look.

There were a number of submissions/ observations on the application 18/371 none of which directly related to the dog park. Only one of the submissions submitted concerned the park and it referred to the provision of sewerage facilities within the park so that camping for special authorised events could happen.

Regarding signage, technically there are no banned dog breeds within Ireland, rather there is a list of restricted dog breeds. The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 (442 of 1998) outlines the requirements and responsibilities for dog owners with a restricted breed dog. Notwithstanding, Wicklow County Council has requested Glenveagh to erect the necessary signage required to promote adherence to regulations within the dog park.

Extract from October 2020 Greystones Municipal District Meeting.

The design and layout of the dog park was raised with Glenveagh following receipt of comments from the public. Concerns raised included the gradient, small rocks on the surface, the size of the dog section, drainage and signage. Wicklow County Council has raised concerns regarding the risks associated with water ponding in the centre of the dog park and have requested additional signage and knee rail around the dog park.

Response:

Glenveagh have advised that following completion of drainage works in the dog park the max head of water will be 300/400mm at severe peak rainfall. Water only tends to pond at the centre of the dog park during excessive rainfall and filters away within a short time frame of a dry spell. As the pond is not lined to hold water the ponds will have no water for several months of the year. Glenveagh will monitor the water levels over the coming months.

Additional signs regarding restricted breeds to be erected at entrance to dog park.

The matter has been referred back to Glenveagh for further comment.

They have been requested to re-examine the options with regard to the gradient and surface which is by far the largest issue raised by the Dog Park Committee.