GAA club joins opposition to large Clontarf house plan

Fast-track permission sought to build 500 new homes on land at St Paul’s College

Clontarf GAA Club says that the loss of access to the St Paul’s pitches leaves it “desperately short of playing facilities”. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Clontarf GAA Club says that the loss of access to the St Paul’s pitches leaves it “desperately short of playing facilities”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

A leading GAA club has added its voice to the opposition to proposals to build more than 500 new homes in the Dublin suburb of Raheny.

Crekav Trading, part of developer Marlet, is seeking permission from An Bord Pleanála to build 104 houses and 432 apartments on land at St Paul’s College, Raheny, under the fast-track planning scheme for housing.

Sports clubs in the area argue that the plan denies them access to pitches in St Paul’s whose owner, the Vincentians, has allowed them use for many years.

Clontarf GAA Club this week wrote to An Bord Pleanála opposing the plan, joining soccer club, Clontarf FC, which lodged its objection to Crekav’s proposals earlier this month.

The site has six playing fields used for Gaelic games, rugby and soccer. Crekav’s plans involve replacing these with a gym and two outdoor all-weather pitches – which can be split into three – at St Paul’s.

Pressure

Clontarf GAA, which has more than 1,900 members and is the area’s biggest sports club, says that the loss of access to the St Paul’s pitches leaves it “desperately short of playing facilities”.

The club’s letter, signed by secretary Donal Nolan, points out that the area’s zoning requires developers to preserve community amenities. Mr Nolan also argues that the development’s scale will ultimately put more pressure on local clubs’ facilities.

An Bord Pleanála directed Crekav to address the clubs’ concerns in a report that it issued in November. In its application, the developer says that the gym and all-weather pitches it proposes should meet the school’s needs and address those of the wider community.

All-weather pitches

Crekav’s application states that the two floodlit all-weather pitches can be reconfigured as three when required. It also points out that the synthetic surface will allow more use than the grass playing fields. The company is spending about €5 million on this, which is the subject of a separate planning application.

Marlet, led by developer Pat Crean, bought the land two years ago for a reported €17 million. The company allowed the local clubs to continue using the pitches.

Clontarf FC proposes in its submission that as well as building the gym and all-weather pitches, Crekav pay €1.8 million to Dublin City Council which can use this to upgrade unused pitches in nearby St Anne’s Park. Sources estimate that Crekav’s site would be worth €80 million with planning permission.