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The hellfire Club - let the debate begin!Mountpelier Hill (The Hellfire Club and also sometimes spelled Montpelier Hill) is at the northern fringe of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains, and commands amazing views across Dublin, and the coast. It has now been rightfully added to the MountainViews database under the Local, Cultural and Historical listing. (It never had the minimum prominence criteria to be listed with Binnions or other lists). The Hellfire Club hill has been the subject of much controversy recently, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future due to plans by the council to develop it. Now that this hill is listed I hope that we can be a source of information for all those interested in this place. We may also become a platform for the inevitable debate that this hill will attract. Rather than have the summit page clogged up with such discussion and debate I hope that we can help direct such discussion to this General Forum.
South Dublin County Council (SDCC) have submitted plans to An Bord Pleannala to develop a visitor centre, restaurant, walkers lounge, expanded carpark, developed tracks and trails, visitors information boards etc and a tree top walkway across the road the Masseyís Wood estate. (see plans here - http://www.sdcc.ie/services/parks-and-recreation/dublin-mountains-project)
They say 100,000 people visit each year and the local R115 is constantly blocked by cars as the official carpark only holds 50-60 cars. They say the lack of toilets, visitorís facilities or proper infrastructure for such amounts of people leads to problems, including anti-social behaviour. They envisage that the new facilities and walks will help improve visitor experience and encourage more people to visit such a special place.
Opponents say that it will destroy the heritage of the area and lead to the loss of parts of the forestry. They say that SDCC wants to increase visitor numbers to 300,000 per year, and the increase in traffic will be unsustainable. They also say that there are other options to provide facilities locally to visitors.
Soon these page (I hope) will burn with comment on The Hellfire Club (pun intended). I am extremely familiar with the area and no one can say that there isnít a massive traffic/parking and congestion problem that needs to be solved - whatever the solution. Also no one can say that there isnít a litter problem here too Ė hardly surprising when you consider there are no bins for the 100,000 annual visitors. I am always amazed that folk are willing to carry weighty fast food, bottles of alcohol and other day-trip items up the hill, but lose the ability to carry it back down again.
There are many strident and passionate voices for and against the development proposals. So letís hear those voices. Let the debate commence!
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