Written Answers. - Land Acquisition.

Emmet Stagg


349 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No, 192 of 22 May 2003, the reason the attempts to acquire the land were unsuccessful; his views on whether a golden opportunity of acquiring park lands for passive recreation has been missed by the Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19296/03]

Arising from a planning application for the development of a business park, adjacent to Castletown House but not interfering with the site, the applicant had proposed to transfer, free of charge, approxi mately 130 acres of land, initially to the Castletown Foundation and ultimately to my Department. This planning proposal was subsequently refused by An Bord Pleanála and the applicant was no longer willing to transfer the land free of charge.

In subsequent negotiations with the landowner, the cost of my Department acquiring the lands was identified as too onerous having regard to overall resources available to the Department for conservation improvement works.