Over 50 per cent of respondents who took part in a recent youth forum in Greystones cited planning as one of the major issues facing Co. Wicklow.
The forum, organised by independent general election candidate Evelyn Cawley, was held to determine the insights and issues of greatest concern to younger constituents in the area.
Ms Cawley said that that while the majority of those present complimented the new sports facilities in Charlesland, youth facilities were cited by 76 percent of respondents as a major issue for the community, while over 50 percent stated that planning was the 'central' issue to the problems being faced by the county.
'Specific concerns ranged from the over-development of small rural towns and villages, including Greystones, without adequate facilities for transport and local employment opportunities.'
'One quarter of respondents also mentioned the impact of large scale developments like the proposed marina for Greystones and the housing at Charlesland as being unsustainable in the long term, and pushing local people out of the town by inflating house prices,' she said.
The presence of youth clubs and coffee houses together with night venues for 13-17 year olds in the town were also stressed by 20 per cent as a means for combatting increased drug and alcohol usage in the town among under 18s.
Concerns were also expressed about the 'spiralling' cost of houses prices, with fears that in the coming years many young people would be unable to afford houses in their home county.
Other issues that were raised on the night included the lack of buses and darts at peak times and on Sundays, the closure of schools and the provision and maintenance of dog litter bins in the area.
The state of the roads in Greystones, Delgany, Windgates and Kilcoole were also raised.
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