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Fingal County Council to work with Skerries Harps to clear the way for the GAA club's future development


Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó'Rodaigh

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó'Rodaigh

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó'Rodaigh


Fingal County Council is to consider any proposals to address the reason for refusal by An Bord Pleanála for further development at Skerries Harps GAA Club.

In September 2007, following an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, the decision to refuse planning permission for development consisting of two playing pitches, changing and ancillary room, car-parking, access road and new entrance at these lands was made by the planning board.

The decision was made having regard to the location of the site in relation to the town, “to the lack of footpaths, cycleways and street lighting on the road network linking the site to the town”, and to the nature and scale of the proposed development, which it was claimed would give rise to “significantly increased pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular movements on the substandard road network serving the site.”

Other factors included that the primary use of the proposed development “would be by juveniles” travelling by foot and by bicycle, and the absence of “any firm commitment and time scale in relation to effecting the necessary improvement works to facilitate safe pedestrian and cyclist movement.”

It was considered that, on the basis of the submissions made in connection with the application and appeal, the proposed development would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and would be “premature” in relation to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The council was responding to a motion tabled at a recent Local Area Committee meeting by Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó’Rodaigh (LAB), who called for the Chief Executive to continue to collaborate with Skerries Harps GAA Club “to devise a plan to improve the road network serving their site at Milverton.”

Cllr Ó’Rodaigh also called on the Council to address the “substandard” rail underpass, and to investigate the cost of investment of the provision for the necessary infrastructural works required to address the reason for previous refusal as cited by An Bord Pleanála.

Speaking at the Local Area Committee meeting, Cllr O’Rodaigh said she was “very happy” with the council's report, which she said would determine if more space could be created in Skerries for local sports clubs.

In Skerries, she said, the town was playing “catch up” with an expanding population and a limited availability of land for use by sports clubs.

Noting the prior planning application to An Bord Pleanála, Cllr O’Rodaigh said she agreed it was perhaps “a little premature” to develop these lands with the current road network.

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She knew, she said, that the council’s Planning and Infrastructure Department was working with Skerries Harps GAA Club to find a solution, and accepted the council’s report based on the fact that the local authority continued to collaborate with the club to try and “free up land” for clubs in Skerries.

The report concluded by stating that Fingal County Council’s “Planning & Strategic Infrastructure Department is currently looking at the requirements for open space provision & recreational facilities within Skerries as part of the preparation of the new County Development Plan.”