Midleton GAA gets green light for move to new site

Midleton GAA gets green light for move to new site
An artist's impression of the Midleton GAA grounds development.

Midleton GAA club has secured planning permission for a move to new grounds to cater an expansion in its membership.

An Bord Pleanála has rejected an appeal by a local resident living near the site of the proposed new clubhouse at Park South off the Youghal Rd in the east Cork town.

The planning appeals board upheld the original decision of Cork County Council to approve the development of new facilities for Midleton GAA club against the recommendation of its own inspector.

Subject to a number of planning conditions, the board said the new club grounds would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area.

The project provides for new changing rooms, storage areas, a hall, and toilets as well as a “ball wall” training facility, a multi-use synthetic pitch, several grass pitches, and parking spaces for 193 vehicles.

The club also plans to develop a one-mile circular walking trail around its new grounds. Midleton GAA club bought the 37-acre site of its proposed new clubhouse in September 2016 from Irish Distillers for €380,000.

The club, which has 10 adult teams and 50 underage teams, has outgrown its existing facilities at Clonmult Park, where it has been based since 1958.

The first phase of the development, which will provide an entrance, car parking, and three pitches, including one floodlit one, is estimated to cost €750,000.

The club said it needed the expanded facilities to cater for Midleton’s growing population, forecast to increase to over 20,000 in 10 years.

A local had objected on the grounds that, while he supported the club’s move in principle, it would have a negative impact on his newly built home due to the proximity of one of the pitches and floodlights.

To address such concerns, An Bord Pleanála imposed 11 conditions in its decision to grant planning permission including a ban on the use of floodlights after 9.30pm and strict limits on noise levels.

An inspector with An Bord Pleanála claiming the siting of the proposed all-weather pitch was problematic, for a number of reasons including its proximity to the appellant’s home and the requirement to remove some existing trees and hedgerows.

However, the board ruled that the development would not seriously injure the residential amenities of nearby properties and would also be acceptable in terms of preserving the biodiversity of the area.

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