Dáil Éireann - Volume 457 - 26 October, 1995
Written Answers. - Luggala (Wicklow) Site.
Mr. M. McDowell Mr. M. McDowell
17. Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht the current position in relation to the site of the aborted interpretative centre at Luggala, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15701/95]
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins) Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins)
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): As the Deputy will be aware, on 10 February last An Bord Pleanála rejected the planning application for a visitor centre at Luggala and the Government, on 28 March last, decided to defer a decision on the location of a visitor centre for the Wicklow Mountains National Park until a management plan for the park had been completed. Arising from this decision a steering committee was established by me to oversee the preparation of the plan. Consultants have now been commissioned to prepare the plan.
The brief for the consultants envisages preparation of an appropriate plan for the national park in the context of a nature conservation strategy for the Wicklow Mountains as a whole while taking account also of visitor management and of the social and economic needs of communities in the area. The consultants have been given a set time-table to prepare a draft management plan. As part of the initial phase of the consultancy project advertisements have been placed inviting the public to forward their views to the consultants  regarding the Wicklow Mountains area and the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
When the draft plan has been completed, a process which is expected to take some five months, a period of time will be allowed for the public and interested parties to comment on the contents of the draft and the consultants will, in turn, be given an opportunity to respond. At the end of the process which I have outlined above I will consider all of the issues involved and, if necessary, I will submit proposals to Government regarding visitor facilities for the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
With regard to the site at Luggala which was being developed as the site for the Wicklow National Park visitor centre, arrangements are being made to seek the necessary approvals to have certain safety works carried out on the site pending a final decision on its future, a decision which must await the completion of the management plan.
Dáil Éireann 457 Written Answers. Luggala (Wicklow) Site.