Fingal County Council should appoint a town architect to oversee its ambitious €23 million rejuvenation project in Balbriggan, it has been claimed.

Local election candidate Garrett Mullan (Social Democrat) says a designated town architect is needed to ensure the project is a resounding success.

He pointed to success stories in other towns such as Westport and Clonakilty and said having a town architect in place was a key factor.

He said: “Applying urban planning utilising skills of an architect will help make this plan a success and this simple change could make a big difference to improve our quality of life.”

Meanwhile, the results of the Our Balbriggan public survey found that leisure experiences hold the key to future growth in the town.

Some 70% of locals chose the development of leisure experiences around the harbour, river, coastline, and local castles as the highest priority in developing the town economically.

Proposed developments include the transformation of Bremore Castle into a premier visitor destination, a new greenway connecting Balbriggan and Skerries, a river park and a revamped marina.

A total of 43% of respondents supported creating a food and arts quarter for the town while 40% would like to see Fingal County Council taking a more proactive role in property management in the town centre.

A Balbriggan Socio-Economic Strategy, which will be published later this month, will contain an implementation plan with a list of actions, activities and timeline, directly influenced by the results of the Our Balbriggan survey.