Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that he believes the construction of a world class sports complex in North Wicklow is absolutely possible if the will exists to make it happen.
Teachta Brady said:
“Over the summer months I have engaged with numerous sports and athletics groups across the North Wicklow area who are all convinced that the construction of a sports campus on the planned Fassaroe development site would contribute enormously to the local community and would serve to help shore up the already startling success of the many sports and athletic groups in the area. Numerous groups such as Ardmore rovers Football club, Enniskerry Boxing Club, Liberty Boxing Club, Shamrock Bhoys and the Bray runners group for example are restricted in activity potential due to a serious lack of facilities. A multi-use sports campus in the area would also unlock the potential for programmes across the county to help encourage people into the area of sports and away from sedentary activities.”
Teachta Brady also said that the Cosgrave Property Group has lodged a planning application with Wicklow County Council for a 658-unit housing development in Fassaroe, this application is currently with An Bord Pleanála. The 48-hectare development between Bray and Enniskerry also includes substantial office and retail space as well as a district park and inland waterway. The scheme forms part of the council’s master plan for the Fassaroe area, which was drawn up in 2010 but later mothballed on account of the financial crisis. There is also provision for 49 acres for amenity space. When complete, the plan will provide up to 1,800 residential units.
“In August I met officials in Wicklow County Council to discuss to feasibility of a sports campus on this site, subsequently I submitted detailed proposals for such a campus to Wicklow County Council’s Bray Local Area Plan for Bray in order to secure zoning that would allow for a campus to be included. I believe that the Development Contribution Scheme Levies which apply in the context of the overall development of the Fassaroe site could be used to fund planning and to develop a world class sports campus.“
“Of course we need buy-in from all potential stakeholders including local representatives so I am pleased to note that Fianna Fail have very recently become a supporter of the initiative. On this particular issue I would call on all local politicians to join me in doing our utmost to push this idea forward.”
Teachta Brady concluded by pointing out the long term health and social benefits that such initiatives can deliver:
“Experience has shown us that a sprawling Suburbia with little leisure and sporting infrastructure is detrimental to the overall health and general well -being of people and their communities. The benefit of this hindsight and the opportunities presented in the current Fassaroe area plans suggest that if the will is there the possibilities are endless. The Sinn Fein team of councillors and I will continue to engage with all stakeholders including the wider community, Wicklow County Council, local sports and athletics groups and local representatives. We truly believe that a World Class Sports Campus in North Wicklow can be delivered if all groups work together for the common good.”