Legal team to aid Limerick residents on youth centre plans

NORTHSIDE residents have engaged a legal team in a bid to persuade An Bord Pleanala to reject plans for a new youth centre.

NORTHSIDE residents have engaged a legal team in a bid to persuade An Bord Pleanala to reject plans for a new youth centre.

Limerick Youth Service has won permission from city planners to build a multi-level youth centre in the Ballynanty estate.

But some local residents, who are firmly opposed to the plan, are likely to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.

And they will meet in the St Munchin’s Community Centre tonight at 7.30pm, together with legal representatives, to formulate an official objection to the national appeals body.

Although the Limerick Youth Service plan will create 20 jobs over an 18 month building period, it has been met with criticism from local residents.

Among other things, they are sceptical of a large building being built on what they see as a small piece of land.

They also are upset over the loss of a green space in their area, and are fearful that there may be an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Anne-Marie Stacke, spokesperson for the Ballynanty Residents Opposition Committee, confirmed: “We have somebody to represent us in a legal and technical capacity. They will come to the meeting on Monday night.”

“They will see what they can do as regards putting an appeal together to An Bord Pleanala.”

Meanwhile, councillors will not be able to vote on whether to ‘dispose’ of the landbank to the youth service until after the planning process is complete.

It is one of the functions of city councillors to allow or disallow private developers to build on public land.

But if the application is appealed to An Bord Pleanala, it could be a further six months before a decision is made.

All northside councillors are being invited to the meeting at St Munchin’s Community Centre, and Ms Stacke says she has sent letters out to all houses in the estate.

The €1.8m development is being built, thanks to matching funds from the JP McManus Foundation.

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

Councillors on the northside have stated their opposition to the proposals, with the exception of Labour member Tom Shortt, who has supported the youth service from the time the application was lodged.

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