Fingal County Council is pleased to announce commencement of the formal planning process for the proposed Development Project at Naul Village Park.
The project led by the council’s Parks & Green Infrastructure Division aims to reach a consensus with stakeholders to deliver a vision for the sustainable development of a Village Park which is sensitive to and reflective of the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the site. The park includes a number of elements described below:
This is the main pedestrian entrance and meeting point to the park from the Balbriggan Road. The arrival space will be paved in natural stone setts with contrasting strips scattered throughout informally, it is proposed to engrave these strips with the words of ‘Easter Snow’ - the traditional air that was a favourite of Séamus Ennis.
A strategically placed village green creates a centrepiece around which other elements will be arranged. With views to the church and graveyard on the opposite side of the road, the village green borrows this visual amenity, providing a unique sense of place. A large feature tree will be positioned in the green to provide another focal point as a reference to the ‘Big Tree’ that stood proudly in the village for over a hundred years and represented a constant feature for many generations of villagers.
The playground will borrow themes from Naul’s rich heritage to create a play experience that is rooted in its’ context. The Black Castle (also known as Cruise’s Castle) dates to the 12th century and sits roughly 100 metres north of the graveyard. The castle is a prominent piece of Naul’s heritage and it is proposed to reference it in a play piece that resembles a castle tower. Similarly, the musical heritage that Séamus Ennis secured for future generations will be referenced in musical play pieces that appeal to a child’s senses and their natural creativity The overall vision for the playground is that it offers high play value and inclusivity within a setting that avails of borrowed landscape elements in pursuit of an experience that is close to nature. The playground will be scattered with elemental features such as logs and boulders and also with tree and groundcover planting to further emphasise the natural aesthetic. Furthermore, to strengthen the idea of nature play and taking an inspiration from Naul’s historical heritage, it is proposed that the grass mound will offer an array of unique play opportunities. On one side it is connecting to the castle play structure (itself a reference to the Black Castle ruin visible from the playground) before dropping abruptly on the other into the wooden climbing wall which takes inspiration from the Irish placename An Aill – anglicised as Naul. The mound sits beside another element of the project which is the ‘Quarry’, a sunken area in the lawn with tree trunks acting as bridges and emphasising the feeling of adventure.
Recreation and Fitness Area
The fitness area, located immediately south of the playground, is a space designated for sport and fitness activities and is intended to cater for a wide age-range of users. The space contains exercise equipment for older users, calisthenics for teenagers and adults, and table tennis for all ages.
A Reflection Garden is proposed in the south-west corner of the site. This location seeks to make a feature of the old buildings and walls that partly define the park boundary. It is proposed that the garden will feature raised planters for horticultural pursuits, bespoke benches and chess tables. The garden will provide for this array of passive amenities in a quiet area of the park, and so will become an ideal place to relax and socialise in a pleasant setting.
Parking Area and Potential for Farmers markets
The landscape proposals have set out to increase parking availability appropriate to the scale of the site. The car parking area is to be designed incorporating reinforced grass and will be future proofed by the inclusion of ducting to facilitate electric car charging. Parking and access will comply with road safety requirements. The village park proposal provides the potential to organise occasional events such as farmers markets in two locations in the park. Market stalls can be installed in the proposed car park. There would also be scope for vendors to pitch up in the ‘Arrival Space’ where they will benefit from increased exposure to the Balbriggan Road and the potential customers who may be passing by.
The Naul Village Park Development Project will deliver a multifunctional community outdoor space which reflects the unique heritage of the locality, and promotes biodiversity and sustainability. The proposed village park will become an integral feature of Naul, a place which contributes to the unique character of the village and one in which all the community can come together for events and general amenity.
Stakeholder and public engagement are central to the project. Information meetings were held in April and July of this year with local representatives and stakeholders. Following the consultation meetings, the feedback and comments received have been considered and are reflected in the current proposal. Building on the successful community consultations held to date, the council encourages feedback and comment on the proposed Naul Village Park Development during the submission period of 14th of September to 27th October as detailed in the attached part 8 planning application available at: Naul Village Park Part 8
Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh said “The proposed Naul Village Park Development Project will be a fantastic community meeting point and provide recreational facilities for young and old ranging from the playground inspired by An Aill to the village green and reflection garden.”
Chief Executive of Fingal AnnMarie Farrelly said “I am pleased to see the Naul Village Park Development Project reach the formal planning stage and the Council welcomes continued engagement from the public. This Park development is a continuation of the Council’s commitment to provide accessible sustainable outdoor recreation facilities designed in consultation with the local communities and in keeping with the heritage of the area.”