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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dublin 4 residents object to 'ugly' ball-stop nets at well-known rugby school

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Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A number of residents have objected to the erection of ball-stopping nets at a secondary school in Dublin 4.

St Michael's College, a well-known rugby and fee-paying school on Ailesbury Road, was granted planning permission by Dublin City Council to erect the nets, which will be 12 metres high, last October.

One resident told that "rugby balls are constantly flying into our yard" as it is located next to one of the school's pitches.

The introduction of the nets is seen as a health and safety measure to stop stray balls going into neighbouring properties.

However, a number of people living next door to the school have opposed the expansion.

One objection, prepared by Design Strategies on behalf of a resident, said the nets would have a "serious negative impact visually".

"Our clients are generally supportive of the school's ambition to improve the sporting facilities and the quality of the sporting experience for their pupils. However, this new planning application, to seek a permission for intensification of sporting activities, which appears to be other than ancillary to the schools, falls well outside their position of support," the objection reads.

Another objection, prepared by O'Connell Mahon Architects, cited how the pitch was being used as an "adult all-weather pitch" and a "hurling pitch", as opposed to a "junior pitch", and this is why balls are landing in the adjoining premises.

An objection filed by Mullarkey Pedersen Architects on behalf of a resident said: "The existing net is adequate for junior rugby games but inadequate for adult use or hurling".

The objections also claim the nets would interrupt certain residents' views of the Dublin Mountains.

The planning application said the development will consist of: "the provision of ball-stop netting measuring 12 metres in height and 24 metres in length along the eastern and western boundary of the sand-based grass playing pitch; and the replacement of the existing retractable ball-stop netting measuring 8 metres in height and 18 metres in length by netting measuring 12 metres in height and 24 metres in length".

A decision is yet to be made by An Bord Pleanala following the objections. has contacted St Michael's College for comment.

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