Decision due over proposed Limerick youth centre

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A DECISION is this Thursday due on a controversial application for a new youth centre in Ballynanty.

A DECISION is this Thursday due on a controversial application for a new youth centre in Ballynanty.

With funds from JP McManus, the Limerick Youth Service is looking to build a new split level youth club on land beside Thomond Park.

The development will include a reception area, games hall, stage areas, a self-service kitchen, and a boardroom as well as other ancillary facilities.

But the multi-million euro proposals have been rejected by Ballynanty residents, fearful of the loss of a green field in the centre of the estate.

They are also worried about an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area.

Instead, they want to see the Limerick Youth Service relocate its building to nearby lands in Moyross.

However, the youth service has hit back, saying there is a lot of misinformation, and said they have no choice but to build in Ballynanty, because the funding from the JP McManus foundation is location-specific.

Last week, half the membership of City Council descended on Ballynanty for an information session organised by the residents.

They urged the members to use the powers they have to block the plans.

Councillors cannot interfere with the planning process.

But because the land is owned by Limerick City Council, it is up to members to approve the disposal of this to the youth service.

If councillors refused this, it would render any planning application by the Youth Service null and void.

In a letter to all 17 city councillors, the residents have asked a motion be put down stating that “City Council will not agree to the disposal of land in the Knockalisheen Road and Ballynanty Road area for the proposed Limerick Youth Service Development, and the area be maintained as a residential green site”

The only councillor who has explicitly stated his support for the scheme is Labour’s Tom Shortt.