An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to Tayto Park for a new €15.5 million ‘Coaster 2021’ roller-coaster for the theme park.
The decision clears the way for the construction of the roller coaster which is made up of a Suspended Thrill Coaster (STC) 31 metres high and 748 metres long, and a Family Boomerang (FB) ride of 24.2 metres in height and 238-metre in length.
The decision brings to an end a planning battle that has run for over two years.
A previous roller-coaster proposed for Tayto Park was refused planning permission in July 2019 by the appeals board due, in part, to the noise impact of people’s screams from the roller coaster on residents’ properties.
Now, the board has over-ruled its own inspector, Dolores McCague who recommended that planning permission be refused for the new project.
Ms McCague recommended that planning be refused due to the noise impact on nearby residential homes and that it would depreciate the value of properties in the area.
Tayto Park owner, Raymond Coyle, who sought to secure planning permission for the new attraction, revised plans provides for a planned spend on €1.5 million on 14 separate noise reduction methods.
However, during the course of her 58-page report, Ms McCague stated that the application did not reveal the noise impact from screaming by patrons on the roller-coaster.
Ms McCague stated: “A scream is a primitive sound, calling out danger and shouting for help. It is a particularly distinctive sound. Screaming has a much more visceral impact on the listener than any other sound.”
Ms McCague also recommended that planning permission be refused as the development would exacerbate the capacity and congestion issues on the N2.
However, the board found that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on population and human health associated with noise.
The board stated that it was satisfied that the mitigation measures proposed are adequate and acceptable. The board also found that the proposal would not exacerbate the current identified capacity and congestion issues on the N2.
The board decision upholds a decision by Meath County Council to grant planning permission for the project last year.
However, the proposed development came before the appeals board after local residents, Donal Greene & Clare Smith along with Jeremy Butcher appealed the Council decision.
Plans for the new rollercoaster have been drawn up by Dutch roller-coaster maker, Vekoma which has made roller-coasters across the world such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain for Disney.
Mr Coyle has already promised that any screams by passengers will be drowned out.
The designers reoriented the tracks to direct noise back into the park and away from housing in the area and some of the other noise-reducing design features include three tunnels; underground sections; extensive planting of trees, shrubbery and foliage and a 6m high and 100m long sound barrier.
Planning documentation lodged with the plan by Tayto Park stated if the roller-coaster doesn’t proceed “the longer-term viability of the Park would be brought into question”.