Call for public to have their say on Phoenix Park development proposals

by Rachel Darcy

There have been calls for the public to make their opinions known on a potential redevelopment of the Phoenix Park Visitor experience.

The redevelopment will see retail units introduced to the park, in addition to making a temporary car park usually installed for Bloom, permanent.

One section of the park is expected to be dedicated to biodiversity, but there are fears that other aspects of the park will be used for amenities such as shops and cafes.

The ‘Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review’ examines five distinct zones in the park and sets out 29 distinct recommendations, all available to review in the draft report. The deadline for submissions is this Friday, May 31.

”As the World’s urban population will double from 3.5 billion to over 7 billion in the next 40 years, parks and open spaces will become ever-more critical elements in the creation of vibrant cities and healthy communities.

“The Phoenix Park will therefore be central to how Dublin city continues to evolve as a great place to live, work and visit.”

However, the Green Party have made calls for a focus to be put on ‘rewilding’ the park, rather than being used for ‘large scale’ tourism developments.

In a statement, newly elected councillor Neasa Hourigan (GP) said: “Our government has just declared a climate and biodiversity emergency.

“That means at every level, from our own gardens to the incredible space of the Phoenix Park, we should be looking to support and enhance nature and our Irish flora and fauna.

“The Phoenix Park is a huge site that should offer people in the city the chance to experience the natural world at its best. Urban rewilding is a bottom up approach that starts with the simple act of planting mostly native plants.

“They are critical to attracting native insects, which in turn attract birds and various animals back to the local ecosystem. And, if we do urban rewilding right, Dublin could become a place where nature is welcome.”

Several community groups have also called for people to have their say on the developments before the May 31 deadline. The draft plan can be viewed here.

To make a submission, email visitorpark@opw.ie with a subject of “OPW Phoenix Park Visitor Experience, Draft Strategic Review” by 5pm on Friday, May 31.

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