Tuesday 24 October 2017

Centre committee feel they have been 'led down the garden path'

Nicola Donnelly

THE committee involved in campaigning for a long-promised community centre for Brackenstown residents feel they have been 'led down the garden path' by Fingal County Council.

Committee chairman Dermot O'Keeffe said the committee have now given up and will disband within the coming weeks after residents claimed the land the Council allocated for the community centre has now been allocated for a playground in Swords.

'We have more or less given up on having a sports centre/community centre at Brackenstown,' Mr O'Keeffe told the Fingal Independent.

'It has been going nowhere for years, despite funding being approved several years ago and planning permission being obtained.

'We feel we have been led up the garden path after all this time and it's just ridiculous at this stage,' he added.

Recently at a council meeting, Cllr Darragh Butler had asked for an update on the proposed community centre but the county management responded, saying 'As previously reported to the Committee, the problem for the progressing of this project is the absence of the necessary funding for the delivery of this centre.'

Management also stated that the facility would be funded from development levies, but that this 'source of funding has dried up for the foreseeable future.'

Mr O'Keeffe said he only discovered the site where the community centre was proposed to go was re-allocated for a playground was when he noticed clearance work going on several weeks ago.

'We did not realise the new playground for Swords is going onto the site until we noticed it was being cleared,' he said.

'We are of course, delighted that Swords is getting new playgrounds but we had a playground as part of our plans for a community centre so now we believe the community centre is never going to happen.'

Mr O'Keeffe and his committee had been campaigning for a community centre for the residents of Brackenstown since he moved into the estate in 1991.

'We had funding allocated in 2005 for the centre and the only thing that had to be done was the archaeology dig and have the centre go out to tender so we were nearly there. But now, it does not seem like it will ever happen.

'It's disappointing for the community that we now know there isn't going to be a community centre here anytime in the near future. We have been trying to get one here since 1991 as we were looking for somewhere for the youths to go to.'

The Council had also stated that it is 'not possible to indicate when this project is likely to proceed and that including it in a Capital Programme without having first identified a suitable funding source would only serve to raise unrealistic expectations of delivery.

Fingal Independent