COUNCILLOR Shay Cullen is calling for a masterplan of Council-owned land at Brides Head which would include the development of a facility for local clubs and organisations in Wicklow town who don’t have a home.
Cllr Cullen, who is also the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, has engaged in talks with Chief Executive Frank Curran about the potential use of the lands, which had previously been earmarked for a large sporting development.
Cllr Cullen said: “I have discussed the matter with the Chief Executive about putting amenities and facilities in place for not just sporting clubs who are homeless, but also local organisations who are also without a home. The aim is to carry out a consultation process so a masterplan for the area can be carried out. It will be a long-term solution and the masterplan will allow us to look at different funding streams to develop the facility. We will have to see what facilities are required, such as maybe football pitches and running tracks. It would be a multi-use facility so non-sporting organisations could also avail of the facilities.”
In 2009 Wicklow Town Council, now Wicklow Municipal District, announced plans for a development at Brides Head, consisting of three playing fields and ancillary clubhouse facilities, an all-weather running track, a stand for spectators and car parking for 180 vehicles. The clubhouse was due to consist of eight changing rooms, changing rooms for officials, a gymnasium and weights room, a bar and function room and a multipurpose sports hall.
However, the Planning Section of Wicklow County Council refused planning due to concerns over the impact on the environment and the potential traffic hazard the development would present.
Cllr Cullen added: “I know the site has history in terms of planning, but I would like to think that we would be able to deal with that in time. I would be hopeful my proposals will be looked at in the coming months, and it will be next year when we start to get feedback from the community. It would involve footpaths all the way up to the facility, so there is easy and safe access as we are going forward. There are so many local clubs and organisations who need a home and this sort of facility would be ideal.”