Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
MH-C52-50
Údar: 
Eimear O'Sullivan
Stádas: 
Submitted

Chapter 1: Introduction

Proposed Amendment Number: 

This submission stems from my interest in 

the provision of adequate green space for 

the recreation and enjoyment of the 

population of Ashbourne. The health and 

social benefits flowing from the availability 

of such facilities are well-documented in the academic and practitioner literature. On 

January 21 last 32 Meath County Councillors unanimously voted to zone 80 acres of 

Killegland Farm as Open Space for the 

provision of a Community Park. I 

understand from the Chief Executive’s 

response in her report of 19 April that some MCC Execs consider this excessive (15-20 

acres has been mentioned in various public forums) and seek to postpone the decision 

on park size until later (the LAP stage), 

when the Councillors’ influence may be less final. This can only give comfort to 

opponents of the Community Park and signs are that it already has. I ask that the County Development Plan 2021-2027 incorporate an unequivocal commitment to a Community 

Park of at least 80 acres. In support of this I contend that: 

• On 21 Jan, 80 acres minimum was the 

outcome of the democratic process. 

• Based on Ashbourne’s population alone, all the research on Health and Wellness 

benefits supports an 80-acre minimum. 

Some examples: o The Future Analytics 

report, commissioned by Playspaces 

Network, recommends 33.4 ha (80 acres). 

o The World Health organization 

parameters give a recommendation of 160 

acres. o The formula in Dublin City Council’s Parks Strategy would recommend between 90 and 130 acres. o The Fields in Trust (UK – used by >75% of Local Authorities) standard (6 acres per 1000 pop. comes out at 90 acres plus. All of the above assumes the Park 

serves a population of 15,000. • In reality, 

the Park will be serving a far wider 

catchment area than just Ashbourne (South-east Meath and indeed North-west Fingal), 

perhaps as many as 50k citizens all told. 

On the question of cost constraints, multiple alternative funding models are available but do not appear to have been considered. In any case, the timescale for the delivery of the Park can be ‘flexed’ to suit resource 

availability (People, Funds, Benevolent 

suppliers, etc). • The Ashbourne Community has an excellent track record for delivering 

large projects. The Community and 

Councillors of Ashbourne support the 

80-acre minimum scale. They have 

marshalled and delivered extensive 

evidence supporting their case. Many 

challenges will emerge on the journey 

towards this great goal for Ashbourne. I 

sincerely ask that unity of purpose not be 

one of them. It is essential that we all, 

Community, Councillors and Executive, 

present a united front to those who may 

seek to frustrate this project. Therefore, 

please ensure that the County Development Plan 2021-2027 be 100% clear in its 

unanimous support for the 80-acre 

minimum for the Community Park, the 

future heart and lungs of Ashbourne.