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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has launched a public consultation to seek the views of residents on an option to introducing a car parking charge at Kilbroney and Slieve Gullion Forest Parks.

Within the district, the Council manages the recreation and tourism provision at Kilbroney Park, Delamont Country Park and Slieve Gullion Forest Park which collectively attracts in excess of one million visitors per annum and an increasing number of visitors from outside the district.  Over £3 million has been invested in the parks in recent years to maintain a high-quality visitor experience.

The Cloughmore stone in Kilbroney Forest Park. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
The Cloughmore stone in Kilbroney Forest Park. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

To ensure the ongoing provision of quality Forest and Country Parks, the Council is gathering information from residents that will be used to consider the option of introducing a charge for car parking at Kilbroney and Slieve Gullion Forest Parks, in addition to maintaining the car parking charge that is currently collected at Delamont Country Park. 

Options are also being considered for providing season passes for all residents of the district to access our Forest and Country Parks at a discounted affordable price, and to maintain free-entry to all cyclists and pedestrians to our parks.  The Council is also conscious of potential issues associated with illegal parking outside of all Forest and Country Parks in our district. This can have a negative impact on our residents and communities, Council will be engaging with the Department of Infrastructure to address this issue. 

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “We are fortunate within the district to have high-quality forest parks, country park and green spaces. I would encourage all residents with an interest in the important contribution these facilities make towards enhancing our quality of life, to take the time to complete the questionnaire which is seeking your views on the introduction of charged parking”. 

The public consultation period for the Charged Parking at Forest and Country Parks will run for a period of 12 weeks from Monday 9 November 2020 to Sunday 31 January 2021. For further information and to complete the questionnaire please visit www.newrymournedown.org

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