Tayto Park has suffered another setback in its plans to construct a new €15.5 million Coaster 2021 roller coaster after local residents lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against last month’s decision by Meath Co Council to give the project the green light.
The theme park, run by Ray Coyle, says that without the roller coaster its long-term future is in doubt.
The appeal was been lodged by Donal Greene and others. Mr Greene was one of the residents who stopped the theme park's initial roller coaster plan at the planning board last year.
The board refused permission for that project due, in part, to potential noise from customers’ screaming on the roller coaster.
To overcome residents' concerns, Tayto Park's revised plan provides for investment of €1.5 million on 14 separate noise reduction initiatives. The plans were drawn up by Dutch roller coaster maker Vekoma, which has built roller coasters such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain for Disney.
The project comprises a 31m-high and 748m-long Suspended Thrill Coaster and a 24.2m-high 238m-long Family Boomerang ride.
The designers reoriented the tracks to direct noise back into the park and away from housing in the area. Other noise-reducing design features include three tunnels, underground sections, extensive planting of trees, shrubbery and foliage and a 6m-high, 100m-long sound barrier.
In their objection against the latest plan, Mr Greene and another local resident, Clare Smith, contend that, apart from some noise abatement measures, the application was the same as the first plan.
“In this regard, all of our previously stated concerns about a development of this scale and intensive nature still stand. Any modifications proposed in this application do not alter any of its substantive deficiencies,” they said.
The two objectors contend that the planned roller coaster would “ have a serious negative long-term impact on our peaceful enjoyment of our home and the protection of the natural environment”.
Documentation lodged with the plan by Tayto Park states that, if the roller coaster doesn’t proceed, “the longer-term viability of the park would be brought into question”.
A decision is due on the appeal in November of this year.