Development of €1m all-weather pitch is ‘positive step’
Woodstown has been chosen as the location for the new €1 million 3G pitch which is close to the M50

Development of €1m all-weather pitch is ‘positive step’

WOODSTOWN in Knocklyon was chosen as the desired option for a 3G pitch in the east of South Dublin County – a project expected to cost over €1m.

It follows a feasibility study of three potential sites following the completion of South Dublin’s Sports Pitch Strategy in March 2020, for a new all weather pitch in the Dodder Valley and Knocklyon area.

South Dublin County Council hired consultants led by Sports Labs Ltd, to carry out an independent review of three locations – Woodstown, Castlefield, and Cherryfield, Dodder Valley Park.

According to a report presented to members, Woodstown represents the most appropriate option due to a number of reasons, including good access, parking on-site, ability to provide additional parking if necessary, no insurmountable spatial constraints.

Residential buildings are deemed to be relatively distant to the site, which is flat and even, aspects which help the ease of construction-reducing costs.

Lack of obvious major ecological constraints, and space for development over time if required, were other factors.

Woodstown currently has two full size GAA pitches, used by GAA club Ballyboden St Enda’s.

However, the local authority, who will be the ultimate manager of the facility, say the 3G pitch will be available to all manner of sports, groups and schools.

When open to the public, the 3G pitch will operate via an online booking system.

Suzanne Furlong, South Dublin County Council Senior Parks Superintendent, said the next steps in the project will involve the council consulting with local clubs and stakeholders.

After that, it will progress to preliminary design, and if all goes well, proceed to Part 8 consultation, and a decision in the chamber, construction, and handover.

Speaking at the council meeting this week, Cllr Ronan McMahon (Ind) said the largest local authority area Templeogue-Rathfarnham was missing out on an astro-pitch, asserting Cherryfield would have represented a “better and fairer choice for more clubs and schools”.

Ms Furlong said they looked at the full area in the south east area of the county, and the three sites aforementioned, were the only viable sites, that would “hit what we need an Astro area to deliver”, particularly access to open spaces.

South Dublin County Council CEO Daniel McLoughlin said there is a need to move away from “sports politics” and that the provision of astro’s will support challenges in population increases and youth health.

The online booking facility will be transparent and “weighted” to ensure there is an “equitable distribution” of different codes, according to Mr McLoughlin.

“We want this to work. I think it is a positive step and the future of kid’s involvement at all ages.”

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