Thursday, October 26th 2017
Reject St. Annes sports redevelopment on foot of Departmental submission says Fine Gael Councillor
Dublin City Council should reject plans to redevelop sports facilities in St. Annes Park on the basis of a submission made by a government department, local Fine Gael Councillor Naoise Ó Muirí said today (Thursday).
Dublin City Council planners are currently assessing an application for the upgrade of playing facilities at the edge of St Annes Park in Raheny. It proposes replacement of an extensive amount of natural grass surfaces with all-weather synthetic playing pitches.
“The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has raised specific concerns in relation to Nature Conservation in its submission on this proposal” Councillor Ó Muirí stated.
“The Department has noted that the proposed development is in an area that is likely to impact on the Bull Island Special Protection Area (SPA). It has highlighted the potential for the development to disturb the feeding habits of a significant population of light bellied Brent Geese who have special protection under the EU Birds Directive.
“The Department estimates that the feeding habitat for 50% of the Brent Geese roosting flock associated with the North Bull Island will be permanently lost; this comes about specifically as a result of the replacement of natural grass-lands with all-weather synthetic surfaces. The Geese will as a result have to travel further to feed and this could greatly impact their ability to finish their annual journey to breed.
“According to the Department the onus is on Dublin City Council to ensure that adequate areas are left for the Brent Geese to feed and that this is reflected in the City Development Plan in order to comply with the EU Birds Directives.
“These proposals are clearly problematic for the Brent Geese and Dublin City Council should reject them. The underlying lands are part of a larger holding that was made available to St. Pauls by Dublin Corporation for the provision of playing facilities many years ago. The lands should now be returned to Dublin City Council who can then deliver upgraded and sustainable community sporting facilities compatible with EU Birds Directives requirements via a Part 8 planning process with full public consultation.
Copy of submission from Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is at this link – DeptofCulture061017