Fernhill is a former substantial family residence with ancillary buildings on 34 hectares of land just south of the Enniskerry Road at Stepaside, County Dublin. Fernhill Park and Gardens form an important component of the historic landscape on the fringe of Dublin City and an impressive example of a small estate dating back to around 1723. The former substantial family residence with ancillary buildings is surrounded by gardens, parkland, woodland and agricultural land in an elevated location overlooking Dublin Bay. Following a comprehensive feasibility study and public consultation process in 2016, plans for the development of Fernhill as a sustainable regional park were approved by the Councillors at the September 2017 County Council meeting.
Phase 1 works and design is on-going consisting of the installation of paths, tree surgery works, the restoration of the Broadwalk, the construction of a new pedestrian entrance at the Belarmine Roundabout, fencing enclosure works around the front meadow, undergrounding of ESB lines in the rear fields, fencing works to the gardens and the Right of Way, surveys, design and technical studies in preparation for later phases of the project.
The new pedestrian entrance at the Belarmine Roundabout will create a strong presence for the park along the Enniskerry Road. It will also provide a convenient pedestrian connection with the local residential areas and the village of Stepaside. The concept for the design was informed by the historic estate and the distinct local, rural landscape. The emphasis of the project is on the usage of the highest quality local materials and the best traditional craftsmanship. This new intervention aims to stitch seamlessly into the fabric of the old estate while acknowledging its place in the 21st Century. The detail of the entrance is a celebration of all the craftsmanship and materials evident in the estate and local area. The existing access into the Park every Sunday will be maintained at this entrance throughout the works.
Detail design for phase 2 is on-going with works to commence in Spring 2019. These works include a new entrance and signalised junction at Rosemont School, a shared surface avenue, car parking, playing pitch and running path/track, sports pavilion and paths.
A Sustainable Development Strategy is being developed with a focus on community participation, water minimisation, water conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy supply, natural play, ecology and biodiversity, flood attenuation, use of the natural resources and the general ‘light touch’ approach to the development of the site.