An Bord Pleanála has upheld a council decision to grant permission to Mountrath GAA club to retain a ball wall on their grounds, despite objections from local residents.
Laois County Council granted permission to the club to retain a ball wall, storage shed and drainage work at the grounds at Russ Avenue.
This permission was given despite an objection from Ms Mary O’Rourke, representing a number of residents of the nearby Stillbrook estate whose properties are adjacent to St Fintan’s.
The residents claimed that several hurling balls have come over the fence into the gardens behind the ball wall, and one man in his mid-80s who walks with crutches has thrown at least five hurling balls from his garden back into the club grounds.
Residents also complained about the visual impact of the ball wall, and in relation to drainage they said they were concerned that the capacity of the stream into which the drainage works have been piped may be insufficient.
They claimed that the club has insufficient parking and the ball wall is completely unsuitable for a pre-match warm up.
They said that the direction of play at the ball wall is towards their houses.
They also raised concerns over an increased threat to their homes caused by additional water being directed into the nearby stream by the club’s drainage works, as there is a 100mm pipe now emptying water from the pitch into the stream.
Despite the residents’ objections, Laois County Council granted conditional permission to Mountrath GAA.
Ms O’Rourke then appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanala, but the board has ruled that the development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity.
The board also said that the development would not lead to a risk of flooding, and would, therefore, not be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
Permission was granted with conditions that tree shelter belts of at least two rows shall be planted along the southern boundary of the site in the first planting season, to screen the development in the interest of visual amenity.
Another condition is that no floodlighting shall be erected at the grounds without a separate planning permission, to protect the residential amenity of the area.