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Friday 6 December 2019

Clontarf GAA club oppose new apartment proposal

Clontarf and Dublin GAA player Jack McCaffrey. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Clontarf and Dublin GAA player Jack McCaffrey. Photo: Caroline Quinn

One of Dublin's biggest GAA clubs have objected to an application to develop an apartment complex on lands adjacent to St Anne's Park in Clontarf.

Clontarf GAA club have submitted an observation to a fast-track application by developers Crekav to build 657 apartments on a site beside St Paul's College, adjacent to the north Dublin park.

The same site - sold by the Venetians to developers for a rumoured €17m in 2015 - has been the subject of huge opposition from residents' groups and local representatives.

A plan for a mixed development at the site was rejected last year by An Bord Pleanala.

Those opposing the plan say the lands are an important breeding ground for light-bellied brent geese, as well as a vital amenity for the local community.

Last month saw Crekav submit a revised plan to An Bord Pleanala, which removed provision for houses but increased the density of the apartment blocks, which will range in height from five to nine storeys.

The northside GAA club, who boast more than 2,000 members including 1,400 juveniles, say they have been badly affected by the decision to sell the playing pitches at St Paul's College to developers back in 2015.

This has resulted in limited access to many of the pitches they previously used for their young players.

They say they are currently "desperately short of playing facilities" and even before the sale, the club had serious capacity issues.

Conservation

Up to this point, they had relied heavily on St Paul's College and the nearby park for playing facilities, paying around €60,000 this year alone.

It was claimed that the proposed development entailed the loss of five full-sized playing pitches with no provision for alternative facilities.

The plan is due for a decision by February 13 next year.

Last month saw St Anne's being named among the world's top five Green Flag award parks.

Meanwhile, a case by a group of residents seeking to have the land designated as a conservation area has been admitted to fast-track Commercial Court.

Clonres CLG, a Clontarf community group, brought a High Court action seeking to have the lands at St Paul's designated as a special area of conservation (SAC).

It wants the lands maintained in a state that will not disturb the light-bellied brent geese, which they say come to Ireland every October to breed before returning to Greenland in spring.

The application is being opposed by Crekav, part of the Marlet property group, which applied to have the matter admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court list.

It says an SAC on the land could adversely affect its plans. It also claims that its commercial activities and the land are valued in the "tens of millions of euro".

Mr Justice David Barniville admitted the case to the Commercial Court's fast-track list and adjourned it to a date later this month.

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