Meath County Development Plan 2021-2027

This page is under Construction; while in this state it may contain useful information; it just may look a little untidy and the data may be incomplete.

Link to a more legible version of plan timetable: 20 07 22 CDP-Timetable

Table listing immediate dates and emphasizing urgency

Link to Plan on MCC website: The most recent draft of the Development Plan 2021-2027 which is viewable by the public as at 13 September, 2020 can be accessed by clicking here

Link to 2452 Submissions: All submissions received during the Public Consultation process which closed on March 6 can be accessed by clicking here. The Search facilities are limited and it is a very large file, so you may find it easier to locate specific submissions or observations by downloading the file to Excel, where the navigation aids are more powerful.

Link to MCC Chief Executive’s responses to Submissions/Observations can be accessed here.


Analysis of numbers of Submissions/Observations by settlement:


The two key responses that are key to the Greenspaces’ Community Park Project:


Chief Executive’s Response to grouped submissions on Ashbourne Public Park

Submission No.: MH-C5-63, 180, 234, 240, 242, 248, 253,

256,262, 264, 271, 273, 280, 284, 304, 345,

349, 355, 356, 366, 370, 387, 393, 421, 436,477

486, 490, 511, 512, 520, 547, 555, 568, 592,

608, 609, 610, 634, 678, 686, 687, 690, 694,

717, 722, 765, 770, 780, 790

Submission by: (Please refer to Appendix A for list of

corresponding names.)

Submission Theme(s): Chapter 7 Community Infrastructure Strategy

and Volume 2 Ashbourne Settlement Strategy.

Summary of Submission:

  • A reoccurring theme in the submissions received relate to the provision of a freely

accessible Public Park of adequate size (33.4ha in area referenced in a number of

submissions) in Ashbourne as well as additional adequate green space in the town.

  • There is a consensus in the submissions received that Ashbourne is very under-resourced

when it comes to green space and needs a large park.

  • It is submitted that residents of Ashbourne of all ages deserve a public park where the

community can walk, run, enjoy nature, engage in sports and recreational activities, walk

dogs and avail of all the positive benefits a public park offers. A lot of the current green

space and facilities are part of private clubs and not available to the public.

  • It is submitted that there is not enough provision in the Draft development Plan for a new

Park in Ashbourne.

  • The lack of green space in Ashbourne and a park is regarded as nothing short of a scandal.
  • A detailed submission was made by Ashbourne Playspace Network which is an advocacy

group comprised of actively engaged residents seeking to increase the quality and

availability of public open space in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Other submissions received

restate the issues raised in this submission.

  • This submission by the Ashbourne Playspace Network and others welcome the proposal in

the Draft Plan i.e. Master Plan 3 for the inclusion of a public park in the zone and also SOC

OBJ 12 which supports the delivery of a town park in Ashbourne. However, concerns are

highlighted that the proposed 15 ha (minimum) to be provided for the park does not meet

the current or projected needs of the town. In this regard, reference is made to findings of

research commissioned by Ashbourne Play space (prepared by Future Analytics Consulting

Ltd.) which highlighted a requirement of 33.4ha of freely accessibly public open space to

meet the current and projected growth by 2026.

  • Numerous other submissions urge the Council to commit to the delivery of a regional

park of minimum 33.4ha in line with the recommendations and findings of the Ashbourne

Playspace Network.


  • It is stated that the future provision of parkland will mostly comprise a retrofitting of

amenities that have been long overdue. Submission refer to the level of growth in

Ashbourne and the need for the necessary infrastructure i.e. to a regional sized park to

meet the needs of the residents.

  • It is considered that Ashbourne as the 2nd largest town in the county and consider that it

has been neglected too long. Comparisons are made to the level of green space/park

provision in other settlements such as Navan.

  • It is stated that the current situation is not only detrimental to mental health, it is also a

health and safety issue with nowhere for children to play except on dangerous roads.

  • A park is so vital to wellbeing of children, the elderly, teens and for those commuting.
  • At present there is no where safe to cycle with children, there is no where to go for a

picnic or a long walk away from cars.

  • Concern is expressed in relation to the design of ‘the refreshed park’.
  • A submission queries where is the linear park which has been promised for ten years?
  • Submission urges MCC Elected Members to start delivering for the town.
  • It is claimed that MCC are behind all other County Councils in terms of investment in

parks and green space.

  • It is stated that MCC need to increase the quality of life for the families already living in

the town.

  • It is considered that Ashbourne has taken on more than its share of house builds with

zero amenities for the people living here and needs among other things more green


  • It is requested that the new park includes a playground for children.
  • Submission outline the need for playgrounds in or near housing.
  • States that many of the 21 Sport facilities in Ashbourne are at breaking point.
  • Highlights the need at a minimum to complete the Linear Park in its entirety (7 zones,

only zone 4 completed). Please deliver at a minimum the linear park project in its


  • Submits that planning for amenities should be a holistic process whereby the existence or

otherwise of such amenities is a key criteria when deciding on applications to build new



  • It is also stated that Ashbourne need more activities for teenagers and kids to do, like a

skate park, boxing rink, bowling alley etc. Some submissions also reference the need for a

public leisure centre and swimming pool.

  • It is considered shameful that a public Park has been ignored as an issue in Ashbourne for

so long when physical and mental health of our citizens should be addressed.

  • The priority for open space is questioned.
  • It is claimed that there has been an increase in anti-social behavior in Ashbourne and that

Planners should be very mindful of recreation space versus livable space or anti social

behavior will increase.

  • Highlights the importance of greenspace to physical and mental health as well as general


  • It is suggested that the council should lower rates and fill all the vacant shop units in the

town to generate ongoing revenue for the council instead of selling off every bit of green

space in the town at the cost of its residents.

  • Several submissions which seek the provision of a Public Park in Ashbourne also makes

reference to the provision of open space within housing developments. Some express

opposition for the development of housing on designated green spaces in current housing

developments. Specific reference is made to the existing situation in Millbourne green


  • It is stated that MCC need to adopt a progressive approach to designing the town and

building communities with free space for children not just building estates with no

amenities to match the population moving in.

  • It is submitted that the council need to ensure that there is enough green space left in

new developments for the residents to use.

  • It is stated that the playgrounds in Churchfields Housing Estate should not be included as

public amenities as they were built by Cairn for residents only.

  • It is submitted that houses should not be built in an area that has no amenities for the

families living there, until the council have provided a Recreational park, sports facilities

and green spaces for the current and future residents.

  • One submission also states that cars need to be reduced in the town .
  • It is claimed that Meath County Council are failing to acknowledge the needs of this

growing town.

  • One of the submissions which refers to the Future Analytics report (and includes as an

attachment) states that is an impressive document, cogently arguing the case for a

specific greenspace requirement for Ashbourne for Community park/s etc. It is stated


that its assumptions and conclusions have not, been formally challenged by MCC. The

report is accepted generally by the residents of Ashbourne as the authoritative statement

on the issue of Greenspace requirements. It is requested that MCC’s views on this report

should be put on record and state whether MCC accept the salient points in the report,

and if not explain why.

Chief Executive’s Response

It is acknowledged that the creation of public accessible green space to serve the Ashbourne is

required. In order to strengthen the community in Ashbourne and to make the town a more

attractive place to live, provision is made in the Draft Plan for a public park. The identified location

for the park in the draft plan is to south east of the town as part of MP3. However, following further

consideration and having regard to the issues raised in the submissions received, it was considered

appropriate to identify alternative lands which are considered more suitable for the provision of a

public park in Ashbourne. There is a substantial landbank to the south west of the town between

the M2, R125 and the R135 which are proximate to the town centre and existing residential areas

and neighbourhoods. Following an assessment and review, these lands are considered sequentially

preferable and more suitable as a location for a public park and it is envisaged will provide flexibility

and scope in terms of the size and delivery of the public park.

It is therefore considered appropriate to revise the written statement and include reference and

an objective to deliver a public park on the aforementioned lands as the identified preferred

location for the town park and amend the written statement accordingly. The zoning of the subject

lands will be addressed as part of the forthcoming Ashbourne LAP. Please refer to submission no.

411 for further detail in this regard.

Notwithstanding the above, it is noteworthy also, that the proposed new park will supplement

the Ashbourne Linear Park which runs along the route Broadmeadow River to the south of

Ashbourne. A specific objective is included in the Draft Plan to complete the Linear Park ASH OBJ

18 refers. Stage 4 of the Linear Town Park was opened in October 2019. It is intended to

progress the delivery of the skatepark in 2020. It is hoped to commence Part 8 planning

procedures in Q3 of 2020 in this regard with the procurement process to take place thereafter.

The development of the remainder of the Linear Park is dependent on financial resources

becoming available. In support of this, the Council has sought funding (May 2020) through the

Urban Regeneration Development Fund to complete the phases 3, 6 and 7 and extend the Linear

Park. Along this new green corridor, a number of new uses are intended to be implemented


  • Nature trails with footpaths to encourage exploration of ecological zones;
  • Informational signage to explain on ecological zones and species present;
  • Sheltered spaces for relaxation and viewing opportunities;
  • Educational spaces such as beehive hotels and classroom facilities for bug hunting;
  • Diverse exercise and fitness trails suitable for all ages;
  • Active recreation and play areas; and
  • An amphitheatre or gathering space for events.

Meath County Council also published a Public Realm Strategy for Ashbourne in July 2018. This

strategy for Ashbourne town will guide the enhancement and vitality of the town as a great place

to live, work and visit, and also to facilitate and foster growth in the town. As part of this, it is


proposed to enhance connections between the main town centre area and the green space in the

proposed linear park, allowing better access to amenity space throughout the town. This would

significantly improve the liveability of Ashbourne and the quality of life for both existing and

future residents of the area. This was also included as part of the URDF funding application.

The publication of the aforementioned Strategy further demonstrates the Council’s commitment

to the provision of public open space in Ashbourne. The improvements to the public realm in

tandem with land acquisition for green infrastructure including the public park and linear park,

will significantly improve the attractiveness of the area as an investment opportunity.

Furthermore, in recognition of the demand for additional areas of active open space c.6.2 hectares

of lands have been identified in the Draft Plan for open space uses adjacent to

Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club.

With regard to the provision of community facilities in the town, it should be noted that the Draft

Development Plan facilitates the development and expansion of social/community facilities and

services throughout the County and acknowledges the need for social infrastructure to be provided

in tandem with residential and other development. In particular, SOC POL’s 4, SOC POL 5 and SOC

POL 6 will ensure a holistic approach which incorporates the provision of essential and appropriate

facilities, amenities and services, is taken in the design and planning of new residential areas, so as

to ensure that viable sustainable communities emerge and grow. These social amenities and

services will be provided in this way in Ashbourne and all other settlements.

In conclusion, the provision of adequate and appropriate public open space is a priority for Meath

County Council and will continue to consider all options and mechanisms available to improve the

its provision in the town. This will be a key consideration in the preparation of the Ashbourne

Local Area Plan.

Chief Executive’s Recommendation

Refer to submission no. MH-C5-411 which details the proposed new location for the public park

and recommends the inclusion of an objective ‘To facilitate the provision of a public park on

proximate lands to the southwest of the town centre with appropriate lands to be zoned as part

of the Ashbourne Local Area Plan’. Submission MH-C5-411 details the amendments required to

the Written Statement in this regard.


CE’s response to Submission No.: MH-C5-411 (referred to in above response)

Submitted by: Hendrik W van der Kamp Town Planner

on behalf of Martin Hoste Family

Submission Theme(s): Land Use Zoning – Ashbourne

Summary of Submission:

This submission relates to lands located to the south of Ashbourne. The submission seeks to

change the zoning objective from: “Future land use of these lands is to be agreed as part of the

Master Plan” to: “A2 – New Residential”.

The subject lands have been zoned for development but subject to the preparation of a Master

Plan. The subject lands are designated as Master Plan 3.

The submission addresses 4 reasons why the current zoning objective for the lands is not

appropriate or in the interest of proper planning and development of the area. These reasons are

summarised as follows:


  1. The zoning objective is defective – It is respectfully submitted that the zoning objective in

the current draft development plan does not meet this statutory requirement as no

particular purposes are defined in the objective because the preparation and ultimate

adoption of the Master Plan falls outside the statutory planning process, there will be no

opportunity for my client or anybody else to make observations that must be taken into

account in accordance with the relevant procedures for local area plans and county

development plans. The zoning objective fails to meet the minimum standard as set out

in the Planning Legislation and the Planning Authority’s inclusion of this zoning objective

is therefore ‘ultra vires’.

  1. An analysis of the need for a park of the proposed scale is lacking – The Plan fails to

provide evidence in the form of demand analysis for the provision of a Town Park of a

regional scale and fails to make clear why other similar towns in the settlement hierarchy

such as Trim or Kells do not require such a regional scale park.

  1. The size of the public park is excessive – The Linear Park will provide a similar scale

public park facility as the Town Park with added benefits of biodiversity gain and closer

proximity to all parts of the town by reason of its linear shape.

  1. A zoning objective for new residential development is more appropriate – It is submitted

that the objectives of the development should be achieved by zoning the lands for A2 –

New Residential similar to the Masterplan 1 area which would provide for the uses as

stated in MP3.

Chief Executive’s Response

The Chief Executive recognises that the zoning objective in the Draft Plan would not provide an

opportunity for the public to have an input into the specific zoning of the subject lands. It is also

recognised that the subject lands represent a strategic landbank with ease of access to the M2

and are proximate to the M50, Dublin Airport and Dublin Port. Having regard to the proposed

rezoning of a significant quantity of the proposed Strategic Employment Site to the north of the

town from E2 to D1 and the development proposals for same, it is considered that a new

Strategic Employment Site is required for Ashbourne (see MH-C5-761 relating to the above).

While it is noted that the subject lands are recommended for mixed use development and to

include a public park to serve the town, the location of the lands with ease of access to the M2

and the airport/port would be appropriate as a new Strategic Employment Site and therefore it is

recommended that the lands should be zoned for E1/E2 purposes. The lands are located opposite

the residential zoned MP1 lands and the zoning of same for employment development will

provide for the creation of a ‘live-work community’ at this location. The E1/E2 zoning could also

extend northwards in future development plans as there is capacity to do so. The development of

further economic generating activities in Ashbourne is also key to improving the jobs ratio within

the town.

In relation to the provision of a public park, there is a substantial landbank to the west of the

subject lands between the M2, R125 and the R135 which is proximate to the town centre and a

significant quantum of residential development. This land is considered sequentially preferable as

a location for a public park in that it is closer to the town centre than the lands proposed in the

Draft Plan at the Ninemilestone roundabout. An objective that a public park will be provided on

lands to the southwest of the town should be included within the Ashbourne Written Statement

and an appropriate landbank to provide for the provision of this park can be zoned as part of the


Ashbourne LAP.

Chief Executive’s Recommendation

It is recommended that the subject lands should be rezoned from ‘Future land use of these lands

to be agreed as part of the Masterplan’ to E1/E3 (Strategic Employment Site).

Draft Plan Land Use Zoning

Proposed amended Land Use Zoning Map detailing the E1/E3 Strategic Employment Site zoning

Amend ED OBJ 36 as follows:


To promote the development of the key strategic employment site identified in the Economic

Development Strategy for County Meath – employment zoned lands to the north-east of the Rath

Nine Mile Roundabout in Ashbourne.

Amend Section Ashbourne in relation to the location of the strategic employment site.

Update the location of the Strategic Employment site throughout the Draft Plan as follows:

north of the Rath Roundabout north-east of the Nine Mile Roundabout

Amend Section 5.8 of the Ashbourne Written Statement – The future public park, to the south

east west of the town centre easily accessible for the population which will be advanced during

this Plan, will supplement the open spaces in the Linear Park and will provide further facilities and

recreational areas for residents.

Amend Section 5.9 – In order to strengthen the community in Ashbourne and to make the town a


more attractive place to live it is an objective of this Plan to prepare a Master Plan for the delivery

of deliver a public park. This space would be a gathering place for families and various groups and

organisations, and would be an important resource in promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.

There is an opportunity to deliver this park as part of a mixed use development that would

include public amenities, residential, and employment uses on lands to the southwest of the

town centre and appropriate lands will be zoned for same as part of the Ashbourne LAP.

Amend Section 6 – Master Plan 3 relates to lands on the southern edge of the town with an area

of c.46.5ha that have been identified for a mix of uses including a public park, residential, and

community uses. A minimum of 15 hectares of these lands shall be used as the public park to

facilitate the provision of high end technology/manufacturing and major campus style office

based employment and/or to facilitate logistics, warehousing, distribution, and supply chain

management. As part of the preparation of this Master Plan there will be a requirement to take

account of any upgrades required to the R125 to improve the links between Ashbourne and


Amend ASH OBJ 21 – To prepare a Master Plan on the lands identified ‘MP 3’ on the Land Use

Zoning Map which shall cater for the development of a mixed use community zone including:

  1. A public park
  2. Residential development

iii. Employment and Enterprise uses

The public park shall be landscaped and include paths, walks, and large areas of passive open

space. The employment uses shall provide for light industrial and industrial office type

employment. The residential lands shall include a suitable mix of house types and shall be

designed to ensure passive surveillance of the park. The total quantum of land dedicated to each

land use in addition to the location of these uses shall be agreed with the Planning Authority as

part of the preparation of the Master Plan. To facilitate the provision of a public park on

proximate lands to the southwest of the town centre with appropriate lands to be zoned as

part of the Ashbourne Local Area Plan.