26 May 2022

'Planning let it slip,' anger over Carlow soccer club impacted by housing development

'We couldn't allow it to be just closed down,' says councillor

Carlow Carlow Carlow

The issue came up at Bagenalstown Municipal District

"Planning have let it slip," said Cllr Arthur McDonald over a Carlow soccer club which could be left "landlocked" by the completion of a huge housing development.

Kilree Celtic FC in Bagenalstown could be impacted by the construction of 64 houses in Ashfield with the chance that their access lane to their club will be closed off. 

Carlow County Council recently granted planning permission for the construction of 64 new dwellings consisting of 32 semi-detached houses, 24 terraced houses and 8 apartments at Ashfield on the Royal Oak Road.

Cllr Arthur McDonald raised the issue again at the October meeting of Bagenalstown Municipal District and he said: "Has there been any solution to it? 

"Planning have let it slip, I believe. This is where planning went wrong, here we have a green space but the planning department failed to give the access to it."

He added: "We couldn't allow it [the club] to be just closed down."

The access route currently used by the club wasn't a planned route or a planned access but the housing development in Ashfield is now being completed which is impacting on the club's informal use of the route. 

Speaking at a previous meeting, Cllr Tommy Kinsella said if the development of the 64 houses takes place there'll be no access as councillors called for the local authority to allow access into the club's green area. 

Cllr McDonald said: "What value is a green area if you have landlocked it."

The Council's executive previously told members that the Council has no role in this issue as it is a "matter between two private parties".

Cllr McDonald said: "This is a green space," and he called the whole issue a "cop out by the planning department". 

A planner from the Council said the use of the access road by the club "wasn't ideal" and it was even "difficult to find where people accessed it" when they considered the planning application for the houses. 

Cllr Andy Gladney said the local authority can't allow the club to be blocked up while Cllr Willie Quinn asked if the club had claims to a right of way. 

Cllr McDonald said these issues should have been considered at planning stage and asked "was it required that you'd have to fly the cars in". 

The then Director of Services, Dan McInerney, said if the football club are entitled to a legal right of way, it can become legal depending on the number of years it's there and the club were entitled to look into this matter.

Kilree Celtic was established in 2003. 

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