ABP gives rugby club the green light for new stand

An Bord Pleanala has upheld Westmeath County Council's decision to grant planning permission to Mullingar Rugby Club to constuct a new stand at its grounds in Cullion.

The planning board received two third party appeals against the coucil's decision to give the project the green light earlier in the year.

The appellants, who all live in the vicinity of the ground, raised concerns about a number of issues, including increased noised levels, a potential rise in anti-social behaviour, a reduction in privacy for some of the nearest households, and that the proposed development is not in keeping with a "quiet rural location".

The appellants also stated that there were insufficient car parking spaces at the ground and that the rugby club had not consulted with residents of the area prior to making the original application, which includes details for the construction of a 60m long covered spectator stand at the existing synthetic pitch and a new rugby ball wall. The club also sought planning permission to extend the existing walking track around the perimeter of the grounds.

Responding to the third party appeals, Mullingar Rugby Club said that due to the pandemic "usual interactions did not occur with local neighbours but once restrictions allow it is planned to discuss in detail all their concerns and mitigate adverse impacts where possible".

In her report, inspector Patricia-Marie Young expressed the view that, subject to conditions, the development "would not have an unacceptable impact on the residential amenities of the area" and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and visual and biodiversity impacts.