Limerick City Council seeks ‘justification’ for youth centre plans

LIMERICK City Council has written to the Youth Service asking them to justify the proposed development of a new centre in Ballynanty.

LIMERICK City Council has written to the Youth Service asking them to justify the proposed development of a new centre in Ballynanty.

Using funding from JP McManus, the youth service is looking to build a split level youth centre, with 1,149 square metres of mixed use accommodation, including a multi-purpose hall with stage areas, a self-service kitchen facility and meeting rooms.

Further works on the site will include a bike storage area adjacent to a planned garden/allotment area, and further works.

But the proposal for the building, in the shadow of Thomond Park, has divided councillors and residents.

And in a letter to the youth service, the council ask for “a justification for the location of the facility in the proposed location.”

The letter also asks about “the nature of services to be accommodated, in particular, if it is proposed to amalgamate existing youth services in the area to this location.”

A number of residents have already stated an opinion that there are too many youth facilities in the area - and that the youth service could move into one of these instead.

Residents have had a number of meetings on the matter, as have councillors, and divisions have emerged.

Fine Gael councillor, and chairman of the Joint Policing Committee, Michael Hourigan, has joined Cllr Maurice Quinlivan in expressing his opposition to the matter.

The pair state they are reflecting the views of residents.

But Labour councillor Tom Shortt said he has met many residents who are in favour.

And he said he “finds it hard to listen” to the chairman of the joint policing committee opposing a scheme which would include facilities to help troubled youngsters.

City planners have also asked Limerick Youth Service to supply a revised water mains layout plan, and also negotiate with the Transportation and Infrastructure Department concerning the car parking provision for the proposed centre.

“The appropriate level of parking may be based on the needs of a similar development, on the projected routines of the youth centre and on the amount of staffing normally required,” their letter states.

The council also told the youth service that one part of its plans “incorrectly” shows a footway around the nearby grotto, and “it would be proper to reconsider this design.”

The application has received six submissions since it was lodged at City Hall.

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