Football club to temporarily move pitch to allow for wetlands work

By Maurice Garvey

PLANS for the construction of an integrated wetland in Kilnamanagh will see a local football club temporarily move to another playing field in Tymon Park while works take place.

The Part 8 proposal was approved recently by members of South Dublin County Council.

Kilnamanagh pitch IMG 1456 1

Kilnamanagh committee members Paddy Ennis and Jason Lonergan with the wetlands in the background

The project is set to take a portion of stormwater flow from Kilnamanagh Stream, route the flow through a wetland in the park adjacent to the stream to purify that water, into the stream via a new outfall.

Talks took place during the consultation phase between the council and Kilnamanagh AFC, who play on an “unofficial pitch” at the 1.3 hectare site - located between Treepark Road and the western boundary wall of the M50 motorway.

Plans also include proposals to reuse excavated subsoil, importation of topsoil to supplement existing topsoil, and a wetland planting scheme to treat surface water while offering greater biodiversity to the surrounding area.

Over 100 submissions were received by the council during the consultation phase last November/December.

The majority of the concerns by residents surrounded the loss of an unofficial pitch for Kilnamanagh AFC and its effect on the club.

Most submissions in this category were accompanied by a query regarding an alternative pitch/play location.

Numerous residents also expressed concern at the lack of playing space for children due to the encroachment of the wetland into the existing green space.

According to a council report, Kilnamanagh AFC have operated on the green space for many years for underage games and training but this green space “did not in the past or currently have an allocation or was ever a licensed pitch”.

At the recent monthly council meeting, the council said they engaged with the football club during the consultation period, to address concerns.

Additional proposals include moving the pitch north west of the existing pitch, and upgrading the open space.

In the council’s efforts to address those concerns, an alternative pitch allocation (No 128) has been found in Tymon Park to act as an interim pitch until the green space at Treepark Road has been fully restored, at which time KAFC can return to this location and apply for a pitch allocation.

Members voted to approve the proposal at the meeting with Cllr Mick Duff (Lab) stating it was “one of the better consulted projects” and “the amount of time Kilnamanagh AFC put in was commendable”.

Cllr Charlie O’Connor (FF) cited the 103 public submissions as an indication of the “local interest” in the plans.

He said there has been an issues with bonfires at the land which authorities and the community were “trying to solve”.

“There are concerns at ballstop netting, the construction of lighting and a training area while work is undertaken.”

Calls for netting were reiterated by Cllr Cathal King (SF), who has a daughter playing with the club, and he expressed concerns that footballs could be lost in the wetlands.

Teresa Walsh, Director of Environment, Water and Climate Change, SDCC, said they would give a commitment to look at netting “adjacent to the wetland” and the loss of footballs is “never an issue on the M50 side”.

“Historically we don’t provide lighting, but the design stage will look at a generator. Pitch 128 is of good standard. There are no drainage issues,” she said.

The requirements of Inland Fisheries Ireland, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and Kilnamanagh AFC as outlined in their submissions, are to be incorporated into the proposed development.

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