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appalling traffic Disney's Disenchanted lives up to name as Wicklow council hit with complaints from locals

"This work is already causing disruption to trade, generating noise, etc, and a lack of parking spaces in the village”

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Extras on the set of Disney's 'Disenchanted' on the first day of filming in Enniskerry

Extras on the set of Disney's 'Disenchanted' on the first day of filming in Enniskerry

Extras on the set of Disney's 'Disenchanted' on the first day of filming in Enniskerry

The filming of Disney movie Disenchanted may have attracted thousands of visitors to a quiet Wicklow village but it didn’t quite put everybody under its spell.

Wicklow County Council was hit with complaints about the filming with some lamenting the appalling traffic in the area, others worrying about how their business would be affected, and one resident saying their green area had been used as a urinal by a visitor.

The movie, which stars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, and Maya Rudolph, was filmed at locations in Wicklow and Dublin during the summer and is expected to be released next year.

In one email from April, a local business said preparations were already causing issues before filming had even begun in Enniskerry. "This work is already causing disruption to trade, generating noise, etc, and a lack of parking spaces in the village,” said their message.

In response, the county council said the traders should get directly in touch with the production company responsible for making the movie.

However, the business argued it was up to the local authority. 

“All the supposed fame and the attraction of visitors to the village as a result of the movie might make the cafes busier but are of no benefit to other traders and merely clog up the village.”

As filming got under way, local residents also wrote to Wicklow County Council asking for a review of the traffic plan in place for the movie. Their email said when filming was taking place, traffic management was well-organised but that at other times it could get chaotic.

Another said the level of visitors to the village had become unmanageable with a massive increase in litter, and cigarette butts “strewn” around.

It also raised concerns about the towing of cars, which had never happened in the area.

In a response prepared by Wicklow County Council, the local authority said extra bins had been provided and that gardaí had warned on social media about illegal parking.

Within the local authority, frustration also began to bubble as officials tried to deal with the complaints.

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One email between colleagues said: “It’s been a week of it, I’ve had a business, a TD and at least three residents phoning as well as the attached letter. I’m sure you’ve had similar.”

Another resident of Enniskerry said while the filming of the movie was “great”, the village was struggling to cope with the sheer volume of visitors.

They said the number of cars and cyclists coming through the area was proving dangerous as well.

Fine Gael Councillor Melanie Corrigan wrote to say she had also received numerous calls and messages: “I had several elderly people on worried about the new [Covid] variant and the lack of social distancing.”

In response, a council official said to her: “The volume of visitors cannot be prevented unless the village is put into a complete lockdown. This would be of no help to anyone.”

In a statement, Wicklow County Council said they had been in constant communication with the producers of the film since it was in early planning stages.

A spokesman said extra litter bins and resources had been provided, as well as a site for paid parking to alleviate traffic issues in the village.

“The village will be reaping rewards for years to come with the exposure Enniskerry will receive.

"The economic net benefit of Disenchanted is in the region of €63m to the national economy; locally the benefit is of the order of €20m.”

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