Fingal County Council opens Rogerstown Park

April 29, 2019 0

Fingal got a new park on Saturday when Fingal County Council formally opened Rogerstown Park, which is located on the site of the former Balleally Landfill between Lusk and Rush. The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin, performed the opening ceremony and those present got the opportunity to visit the upper section of the new park which has spectacular views of the North Dublin coastline.

Rogerstown Park is being opened on a staged basis with the upper section being open to the public on Saturdays only from 9.30am to 5pm for the remainder of 2019. Subsequent sections will open from 2020 onwards as works progress to completion. Plans to address accessibility from Rush and Lusk will also be addressed and Rogerstown Park will be included in an overall Estuary Plan with possible links across the Estuary to Donabate being considered.

The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin, said: “Fingal is a county that likes to be a leader of innovation and environmental responsibility and we are delighted to be one of the first counties to officially open one of their former landfills as a public park. Today`s opening is the culmination of a 10-year programme of restoration of this former landfill site which has been in operation, in one form or another, since the late 1960s. Rogerstown Park has now shown the way in what can be achieved with older landfill sites by handing them back to the local communities to be enjoyed as amenities for the beneficial use of their local residents.”

Cllr Brian Dennehy, Chair of the Balleally Landfill Liaison Committee, said: “Rogerstown Park will provide access to stunning views, allow families, walkers and joggers to come and relax and provide the local area with an asset which they can be proud of. Local people can take a high degree of confidence that the landfill is, and has been, managed well and the Balleally Landfill Liaison Committee has worked hard to ensure that this site has been finished to the highest possible standard. The work of the Balleally Landfill Liaison Committee over the past number of years has been a crucial part of the success story that is Rogerstown Park today.”

The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, said: “It is our responsibility to manage our environment, and our waste legacy in a sustainable way, and it is also our responsibility to assess if we are doing so adequately. Rogerstown Park will continue to be monitored every bit as much as Balleally Landfill for compliance with its environmental responsibilities and Fingal County Council is committed to meeting the highest of environmental standards now and in the future.”

David Devine, who is overseeing the transformation of the former landfill into a public park in his capacity as Landfill Manager at Balleally, said: “I take great pleasure in being able to hand something back to the local communities who have endured the landfill over the past years. It was always my belief that those views had to be made accessible to the local community and wider public as they are simply stunning.

“From a technical view, and as an engineer, it has been a fascinating project to work on and one in which I have never been bored – although it has given me more than one sleepless night. The primary objective has always been the protection of human health and the environment and many of the projects we have carried out here over the past 10 years have led to considerable improvements in our environmental sustainability objectives.” 

Balleally Landfill was the principal landfill for the greater Dublin region for over 50 years during which it collected more than 12 million tonnes of waste and grew to a height of almost 40 metres before its closure in May 2012.

Since then, Fingal County Council has been implementing a 10-year works programme and the opening of the upper section marks the end of the first phase of the restoration and aftercare plan. The first phase included projects that have solved flooding at the site entrance; expanded the storage capacity of the leachate treatment plant; constructed a new leachate rising main removing the need to tanker to waste water treatment plants; provided new and improved waste water and surface water collection systems; completion of the capping programme; design and construction of a new entrance area and car park and the completion of the perimeter barrier wall.

A €3.5 million capital investment is planned for other projects on the site over the next three years.

Parts of the Rogerstown Estuary are designated as a specified area of conservation because the mud flats are an ideal feeding and breeding ground for certain species of birds and Fingal County Council has worked to create an amenity for use by the public that is environmentally safe and is integrated with the surrounding landscape and estuary.

The opening of the Park marks not only the first phase of the development of this site for the use of the people of Fingal, but also signals an important milestone in the development of the Rogerstown Park site Masterplan which will allow local people to participate in a public consultation process where they can be part of the design process for the further development stages of this site.

In addition to these developments, the sustainability and ecology of the site and its surrounding areas will continue to be of paramount importance to Fingal County Council with biodiversity and natural remediation being key considerations of any future development.

Another key sustainability indicator is the impact of the landfill on the ground and the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks. At Balleally there is an underground barrier wall encapsulating the entire perimeter of the site as well as capping systems in place over the entire site while the much of the gas collection infrastructure has been recently renewed and buried. Fingal County Council has also  invested substantially in recent improvements to both the foul and surface water systems.