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'Desperate' GAA club objects to controversial plan to build 650 flats

One of Dublin’s biggest GAA clubs has strenuously objected to an application to develop an apartment complex on lands adjacent to St Anne’s Park.

Clontarf GAA Club have submitted an observation to a fast-track application by developers Crekav to build 657 apartments on a site beside St Paul’s College, adjacent to the north Dublin park.

The same site – sold by the Vincentians to developers for a rumoured €17m in 2015 – has been the subject of huge opposition from residents’ groups and local representatives.

A plan for a mixed development at the site was previously rejected by An Bord Pleanála.

Those opposing the plan say it’s an important breeding ground for Brent Geese as well as a vital amenity.

Last month, Crekav submitted a revised plan to An Bord Pleanála, removing provision for houses but increased the density of the apartment blocks, which will range from five to nine storeys.

The northside GAA club, which has more than 2,000 members, including 1,400 juveniles, say they have been badly affected by the decision to sell the playing pitches at St Paul’s College to developers back in 2015.

This has resulted in limited access to many of the pitches they previously used for their young players.

They say they are “desperately short of playing facilities” and even before the sale, the club had serious capacity issues.

Up to this point, they had relied heavily on St Paul’s College and the nearby park for playing facilities, paying around €60,000 this year alone.

It was also claimed that the proposed development entails the loss of five full-sized playing pitches with no provision for alternative facilities. The plan is due for a decision by February 13.

Last month saw St Anne’s being named among the world’s top five Green Flag award parks.

Meanwhile, a case by a group of residents seeking to have the land designated as a special area of conservation area has been admitted to fast-track Commercial Court. The case will be heard later this month.

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