South Dublin County Council, along with Coillte and the Dublin Mountains Partnership, has proposed a Dublin mountains "flagship project", which will cost €19 million and comprise of a visitor centre at the Hellfire Club and Massy's Wood forest properties.
Plans involve a treetop canopy walk; an improved trail network and establishment of new trails and loops with signage, picnic benches, natural play areas and views; a large extension to current parking areas to "address existing congestion"; a new footpath along Kilakee Road to Stocking Avenue; as well a bus service to be reviewed in consultation with Dublin Bus. The plan stated "there are no proposed charges for access to trails, parking or the proposed bridge".
The visitor centre would have its own viewing terraces; an events and exhibition space; a rambler's lounge; cafe; and shop. The project is aiming to attract 300,000 visitors a year by the fifth year of operation, reports thejournal.ie.
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According to the project: "The current visitor experience is limited by the absence of visitor focused services and access issues, which need to be addressed given current and projected usage of the sites."
The Council stated that it has funding in place for the planning process and a funding application has been lodged with Fáilte Ireland under their Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020. The case is to be decided by An Bord Pleanála by 22 June 2017 with construction aimed to commence in 2018.