Sunday 21 July 2019

Permission to build tennis air dome is refused

Tennis club had planned to use capital funding

Mary Fogarty

County Wicklow Lawn Tennis Club on Bray's Vevay Road has been refused permission to erect an inflatable dome over three courts.

An Bord Plenála refused an appeal by the club to overturn an earlier decision by Wicklow County Council.

The application was for a 10 metre high 'airhall' to be used for six months of the year, October to March, operating from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays and bank holidays.

The plans were rejected because the structure would be 'obtrusive and overbearing' for neighbouring residents, and create a nuisance through noise and light pollution.

Submissions included a petition signed by 56 residents opposing the application.

The inflatable dome would have included fan units and internal lighting.

In the Wicklow County Council planners report of July 2018, they said that there would be potential noise nuisance from the wind, and from fans used to inflate the dome.

Their concerns also included potential light pollution. While the courts are currently lit by floodlight, the dome would appear like a large light bulb, particularly for the adjoining residential properties.

Submissions also suggested that a previous application for development on the site had been turned down, and that the height and scale is out of character with the area.

In their appeal to the bord, the club said that the structure would not overlook or overshadow any residential properties.

They also said that there wouldn't be any imposition on privacy, as the structure would only be used on winter when the use of private open spaces is at a minimum.

'During spring and summer the airhall will be removed and any purported disamenity created will be removed.'

The location selected was in the centre of the club's grounds, and the most distant from surrounding properties. They said also that the airhall would be lit internally, and floodlights would not be used when it was erected.

The purpose of the dome was to enable junior coaching to continue on a regular basis throughout autumn and winter.

County Wicklow Lawn Tennis Club had received a capital sports grant of €82,000 towards the project.

In December 2017, ABP overturned a planning refusal for a similar project in Templeogue, which had faced similar objections from neighbouring residential properties.

Bray People