herald

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Objectors put a question mark over new €14m ride

A ride at Tayto Park
A ride at Tayto Park

Four residents living near Tayto Park have put the brakes on plans for a new "iconic" €14m roller-coaster at Ireland's largest theme park.

Donal Greene, Clare Smith, Suzanne Galwey and Jeremy Butcher lodged a joint appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the decision by Meath County Council to give the project the go-ahead last month.

The appeal now threatens the Tayto Park timeline to have the roller-coaster constructed and open to visitors by 2021 and puts a question mark over the project.

The planned Coaster 2021 will involve two separate roller-coasters. A 189-page environmental-impact statement lodged with the planning application outlined the stark need for Coaster 2021 for the future of the park.

The document said that if the operators did not add a major attraction at this time "the longer-term viability of the park would be brought into question".

Increase

Planning documents say Coaster 2021 will help visitor numbers at the park - owned by businessman Ray Coyle- increase from 630,000 in 2019 to 725,000 in 2023.

However, in their objection to the plan, Ms Galwey and Mr Butcher - who live 200m from the park entrance - said: "This development is entirely inappropriate from the perspectives of traffic, noise and overall disruption."

They supported Tayto Park in their community but said the development was of an inappropriate scale.

They said they experienced noticeable noise pollution from the park from the existing Cu Chulainn roller-coaster from ratcheting sounds, riders' screams and the roaring of the cars.

Tayto Park declined to comment on the appeal. A decision is due on the appeal in early July.

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