Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (200)

Clare Daly

Question:

200. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to ensure the consultation on the strategic vision for the Phoenix Park will be extended and the full report made available online with supporting documents and screening determinations required under EU law; if the extended consultation will be re-publicised adequately to ensure there is wide public awareness that it has been extended and that the documentation is now available; his further plans to ensure the OPW does not act in the future to inhibit the participation of the public in its consultations; his plans to censure those responsible for recent consultation and their perceived intransigence in responding to public concerns and requests for information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23698/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review has been on display at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre and a comprehensive Executive Summary online since 19th March 2019. The period for observations was extended and concluded on the 29th May 2019 resulting in a ten-week period for observations.

It should be noted that this document is not a formal strategic or statutory document for the Phoenix Park nor is it a development plan. It is an independent review of visitor experience at the Phoenix Park which makes suggestions as to how visitor experience could be enhanced in the future. OPW was seeking the public's observations on the main ideas in the independent Review but it must be emphasised that these are nothing more than ideas at this stage. Therefore, there are no screening determinations associated with such a report. All such issues would be addressed fully in the design and planning permission processes associated with any proposed developments which might be advanced in the future.

 The public engagement with the Review has been extensive and there are no plans to extend the observation period at this stage.  Nevertheless if any party wishes to see the full content of the draft Review this can be easily facilitated.  OPW remains open, and indeed welcomes, any further comment, or observations from any party in relation to the Review.

Essentially OPW considered it appropriate to bring the key draft findings of the review into the public domain in order to ensure that the public had an opportunity to engage with the ideas at this very early stage of the process.  Local representatives, stakeholders, community groups, and the press were informed about the Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review and the public display.