Development At Luttrellstown

 

Sir, - I could not agree more with Robert O'Byrne (An Irishman's Diary, November 24th) about the damage that the proposed £100 million development scheme would have on the demesne of Luttrellstown. Should the proposed new 27-hole golf course, hotels, housing estates and leisure centres ever be constructed there, it would completely shatter the physical fabric and character of this wonderful 18th century landscape.

Surely there must be a way to ensure that Luttrellstown is protected against such an ill-considered and insensitive development? For too long we have seen our historic planned landscapes in Ireland all but obliterated by similar schemes involving hotel and golf course complexes, complete with the obligatory "residential units" laid out in blocks around the parkland. It is high time that the most outstanding of these unique places were recognised as a legitimate part of our heritage and not just as prime real estate awaiting commercial development.

Considering that Luttrellstown is one of the few large-scale 18th century planned landscapes still left in good condition, every effort must be made to ensure it stays that way. Its survival could be assured if the demesne were incorporated into the Liffey Valley Special Amenity Order Area SAAO). This should have happened years ago as Luttrellstown forms an integral part of the Liffey Valley between Lucan and Chapelizod.

Let us hope that our politicians can overcome their ambivalence towards our historic planned landscapes and the Liffey Valley and take positive action to prevent Luttrellstown from joining the long tragic list of lost demesnes in Ireland. - Yours, etc.,

Mark McKeever, Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co Louth.