PROVIDING playing fields for two local schools in Swords has been labelled as 'entirely problematic' because those same lands could be subject to housing development.
Cllr. Darragh Butler (FF) asked for the council to add top soil to the field between Bunbury and the new Gaelscoil Brian Boroimhe and Swords Educate Together schools to provide badly needed playing fields for use by both schools'. Cllr. Tom Kelleher (Lab) backed that call and, as a primary school principal himself, he emphasised the importance of sporting facilities for school children.
But the council said the issue was not a straightforward one and the fields in question had a complicated planning and ownership status. The council said: ' There are a number of field systems located between Bunbury Housing Estate and Gaelscoil Brian Boroimhe and the new Educate Together School premises at Oldtown Swords
. ' The lands between the schools and Bunbury Housing Estate form part of the approved Oldtown Mooretown Local Area Plan adopted October 2010 and are all currently in private ownership.' Explaining the complicated planning situation in the area, the council said: ' The LAP contains multiple designations – open space (Rathbeale Archaeological Park), further school site, residential lands and Local Centre/Higher Density Lands within the area between the two primary schools and Bunbury Housing Estate.
' Two major planning applications have been lodged in respect of these lands,for 245 housing units, recently the subject of a decision to grant of permission, and for 224 housing units, currently awaiting decision by Fingal County Council.' Effectively ruling out providing playing pitches in the area for now at least, the council said: ' The question of providing playing fields and the top soiling of lands in this area would be entirely problematic having regard to the LAP designations on the these lands, their current planning status and the ownership position as it presently stands.
' The lands could be developed for housing and related local service development at any time following the resolution of the planning consent process and it would not be appropriate to pursue the matters raised in this motion.'