€2.5m new 18 acre town park to open in late 2017
A new neighbourhood park costing €2.5m is scheduled to open in Killeens, Wexford, in autumn 2017.
The Wexford County Council project is at public consultation stage and the public consultation documents are now available for viewing.
The 18-acre park, to be located at Killeens, near Clonard, has been described by Mayor of Wexford Councillor Ger Carthy as a tremendous addition to the amenities of Wexford town and district.
The South East Regional Planning Guidelines identify that Wexford town should achieve a population of 26,700 by 2022.
'To support this population growth there is a need to develop associated infrastructural works such as enhanced community and recreational facilities and improved leisure facilities,' Cllr Carthy said.
The recent county council meeting heard that plans for a park in Carcur will continue, but the park will be on a smaller scale.
The council is prioritising the development of a multi-purpose, accessible, outdoor area for recreation and sport activities at Killeens. The park will provide a safe play area for children, teenagers and for people with special needs.
16 acres were purchased for €800,000, while the council has two more acres. The park construction cost is expected to run to €1.7m. It is expected that the project will be funded under the Designated Urban Centres Grant Scheme. Private sector sponsorship is also being sought. The balance will be funded under the Planning Contributions Scheme.
Wexford County Council Chief Executive Tom Enright said: 'This new park will provide an important balance to the relatively high housing density in the area and will act as a strong focal point in the development of the surrounding community.'
The new landmark public park is designed to complement the quality of life for people choosing to live and work in the Wexford area by providing is a high quality, attractive, public open space close to the town centre and accessible to all. It will boast an array of attractive features including picnic sites, outdoor gym equipment, a walking track, water features, a playground, a skate bowl, a level play area, wildflower meadows and art and sculpture displays. The park will include a series of rich, bio diverse eco-systems such as a wetland area and native woodland habitats.
The development will also provide an opportunity to celebrate art and facilitate cultural events.
Mr Enright said: 'It will serve the entire community and provide a public utility to a large urban population and surrounding rural hinterland, providing passive and active recreation opportunities. It has also been designed to be versatile, multi-purpose and capable of adapting to meet generational needs.'
The public consultation planning process will be completed in February 2016. The council expect tendering and contract negotiations to be complete by summer 2016 at which time construction will commence.