Big plans for Glenealy GAA
Development gets go-ahead
THERE was a huge sense of celebration and relief in Glenealy last week when news broke that their planning application for a superb new GAA facility in the heart of the village had been granted by An Bord Pleanála after a six-year voyage.
The new complex will be built on land opposite the local national school and will include two full-size GAA pitches, a juvenile pitch to the front, parking for the school to help ease traffic difficulties at school times, a running track, a hurling wall and a fully functioning club house on a centrally located and stunning 21-acre site.
Huge effort and work have gone into this project from the tightknit community of Glenealy and the original committee in charge (Pat Staunton, Joe Linnane, Nigel Manley and Noel Geraghty) have asked that Wicklow County Council and architect PJ Sutton be thanked for their assistance and help at every turn on the long and arduous road to planning approval. The committee, led by chairman Pat Staunton, also wish to express their eternal gratitude to the community of Glenealy and to all who helped in any way in getting the project over the line at the second time of asking.
Initially, planning permission was sought for half the project, and was granted by Wicklow County Council. A grant was applied for and was successful with €210,000 being secured.
However, one objection to the project meant that the time limit on the grant ran out and that financial boost was lost.
An Bord Pleanála declined the original planning permission request for two entirely different reasons than the objection, so the committee reconfigured the project to meet all requirements of An Bord Pleanála and resubmitted the application which was granted by Wicklow County Council and last week by An Bord Pleanála bringing to an end six years of hard work and, at times, frustration.
‘We’re absolutely delighted with the news,’ said committee chairman Pat Staunton. ‘We’ve got the planning. We’re almost six years on this road. We’re lucky that we are a tight-knit committee.
‘Wicklow County Council have been very good to us at every turn, they have really helped us so much,’ said Pat. ‘The Wicklow County Board as well, they were very helpful, and Leinster Council gave us a quarter of the price of the land and plenty of advice. Croke Park helped out as well, they gave us the balance of the price of the land at an acceptable.
‘And I have to applaud the support of the patrons of the club and many other people besides. We set up a plaque initiative here where you give €50 a month for a year which works out a €600. We had a target of 34 people to pay our mortgage and we’re well above that now and some of the people just came up and gave us the €600 straight up, and one man just handed in a cheque of €1,000. The feedback for them is that there will be a plaque put up on the wall in the club with their names on it forever,’ he added.
The project will be completed in a phased manner with the juvenile pitch and parking being the first stage.
Pat Staunton says that the help of architect PJ Sutton of Sutton Design was immensely important to the project.
‘PJ is a local man here and he has driven this project. He works as Sutton Design Studio and he has gone over and beyond what would be expected of any architect. He’s been brilliant to us, he’s been a revelation to us. Everybody has great time for him. He really has put his heart and soul into this project. He had an empathy with the club and with the project but apart from that he is very good at what he does,’ said Pat, who also acknowledged the efforts of Dean Turner (consulting engineer) throughout the process.
For a brief period, the committee that have toiled so hard to get this planning application over the line can take a break and catch their breaths. However, their rest will be a short one, as the hard graft begins now.
‘So now we have to sit down and catch our breaths,’ said Pat, ‘We’ll probably have to form a new committee, put a project manager in place, it’s terribly important that we get someone to drive this forward in the right way. We’ve a 10-year limit on the planning permission so it will be done in stages,’ added Pat.
Plans for the new Glenealy GAA complex.