Image: Castlelands Balbriggan- where there is a site for a pool The North Fingal Pool Campaign notes that the Land Development Agency is to submit its revised Castlelands Plan to the An Bord Pleanala in the coming months. A swimming pool, as part of the development was proposed, after it emerged as the number one facility in demand in the down during both the Castlelands and the ‘Our Balbriggan’ consultations. The Chief Executive Mr Paul Reid said in February 2019: ‘what we need to do is work through a series of models on how such a fantastic facility would be managed’. A feasibility study was also proposed by Fingal County Council but has yet to report. We need to see progress on that.
The North Fingal Pool Campaign believes a swimming pool is a vital facility for Balbriggan in particular and the north county as a whole as there are no public pools in the area at all. People are commuting to Drogheda, Bettystown, Swords and elsewhere for access. Swimming is recognised for its health and treatment benefits for a range of physical conditions as well as a great life skill for children and young people to acquire as they grow.
Balbriggan is the fastest growing town in Fingal. A key complaint of residents over the years is that too much housing and not enough infrastructure has been built. The council in its initial plan for Castlelands, has cited the area as a location for a pool alongside 800 homes. We believe that the focus on regeneration of the town centre by the ‘Our Balbriggan’ plan is welcome. The two plans should be connected. With that, we are open minded on the location of a pool. It should not be considered only in the context of Castlelands, as it is a facility necessary not just for the whole town but the north county as a whole.