High performance rowing centre plan for Blessington
Plans are afoot for a massive high performance rowing centre beside Blessington Lakes.
A planning application has been lodged with Wicklow County Council for a single storey boathouse with eleven bays for rowing boats, a two storey attached ancillary building, housing launch boat area, eight bays for safety boats and an equipment store.
A decision on the application isn't due until October but the President of Rowing Ireland, Eamonn Colclough, says the Blessington Lakes would be the perfect location for such a development.
'I know the Three Castles Rowing Club in Blessington looking into this for the past number of years. If it gets planning permission, the training centre will be used by a number of Leinster Clubs, each of whom will have their own bay. Having your own bay means you have your own lock up and you can store equipment and stuff there securely.
'I'm sure a number of Dublin clubs will be interested in having a bay. So many clubs operate around Island Bridge it has become a bit crowded. It doesn't have the big open spaces that Blessington Lakes has either. It has a much larger area available for rowing. Rowing Ireland will certainly be interested in a bay,' he said.
The application also seeks changing rooms, a gym, meeting rooms and a balcony/terrace area at first floor level. 78 car parking spaces have been requested.
Ecological Impact Assessment and Natural Impact Assessment have been submitted as part of the application.
Mr Colclough believes the development would prove quite the attraction if it gets the green-light from planners.
'The standard of rowing is improving all the time. There is a savage standard out there and it involves a huge amount of hard work and training. Huge numbers of hours are required. This centre would provide fantastic facilities and would be for training purposes only.'