The Plan

One of the components of the South Dublin County Council (SDCC) Draft Master Plan for Rathcoole is the provision of four pitches, a pavilion, maintenance building and associated car park (Figure 1). The total area in question is 10.82 hectare. A small part of the land is currently managed by the Parks Department of SDCC as a Wildflower Meadow (Photograph 1), and the majority is behind a wooden fence including the Water Wayleave with associated embankment and a tributary of the Camac River (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Draft Master Plan for South Dublin County Council owned lands in Rathcoole, July 2019
Photograph 1 Part of the GAA lands currently managed by SDCC as a Wildflower Meadow
Figure 2 The current uses of the GAA lands

Land Ownership and Planning

The ‘GAA lands’ are zoned open space/ recreation amenity in the County Development Plan 2016-2022. According to a SDCC map, there is an agreed disposal of the land to the GAA (Figure 3). The GAA can only use the land for the purpose under the agreed disposal and in line with the County Development Plan zoning.

Figure 3 Land ownership for the Draft Master Plan with the GAA Land indicated

Previously, the GAA submitted a planning application in 2008 (SD08A/0153)1 which was granted but never enacted. This was because access was dependent on the construction of the distributor road (see County Development Plan). The master plan proposes access via Mulally’s Lane through the proposed housing development on Rathcoole Woodlands. However, another access route is also possible via Stoney Lane should Romeville Developments resubmit a planning application for the lands adjacent to the Woodland.

Evidence for Need

The draft South Dublin County Council Sports Pitch Strategy was published on the 6th January 2020. This was presented at the Council Meeting on January 6th 20202. This identifies a short fall of pitches in Rathcoole. This is to be addressed by the provision of 3-4 pitches, possibly Artificial Grass Pitches, in conjunction with the GAA. This presumably refers to the pitches proposed in the Master Plan. The Strategy outlines the methodology used, but the evidence is not clear or transparent. A request seeking the detailed needs assessment as outlined in the Strategy came to nothing3. This strategy has been widely publicised in local media.