Armagh GAA’s new multi-million pound training facility will ‘hopefully transform the Gaelic Games’ for County Orchard – Armagh I

The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon ​​Borough Council Planning Committee has approved an application to build a state-of-the-art £6.5m training center for Armagh GAA on the outskirts of Portadown.

The request was presented at a Council Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 8, as it is considered a major request.

Submitted by WYG Planning on behalf of My Armagh and the Armagh Gaelic Athletic Association, the application seeks permission to replace existing land at St Malachy’s Hurling Club, 24 Moy Road and to use agricultural fields surrounding this site to the north , east, south and southwest.

The pitch will be replaced by four new pitches, a sports development pavilion with multi-purpose room, gymnastics building, maintenance building, spectator stands/terraces, keepnets, ball wall/training structure, inflatable sports bubble, LED lighting, floodlights, car and coach parking, landscaping, trail crossing and upgrade of link to existing trail at Ashbrook.

Permission is also sought to make changes to site access and complete all associated site works, including fencing,

Speaking at the June planning committee meeting, the planning officer responsible for the application recommended that the application be approved and told members that due to the limited amount of built form landscaping proposed, the officers are of the opinion that the proposal will not be out of place. with the rural environment.

Councilor Darryn Causby asked how many spectators the proposed grandstand could hold and if that was sufficient for the use of the venue.

He was advised that in the worst case scenario if all the facilities were in use it was believed that 385 people could be at this site, but planners were assured by the claimant that this would not be the case as it was not is not how the facility would be used in real terms.

Armagh Training Center

Councilor Sam Nicholson asks why there is a restriction on hours of operation and lighting and asks if there will be any competitive games played at this facility.

The planning officer advised that if the lighting is 18-20m high, it is normal to ensure that it is not used after 10pm. Representatives speaking on behalf of the app confirmed that no competitive or county matches will take place at the venue, explaining that it is only a training center for the teams and the academy of Armagh.

Councilor Declan McAlinden inquired about the disabled provision and was advised that there were 14 disabled parking spaces. It was also ensured that the program was designed with the needs of people with disabilities in mind.

Alderman Sydney Anderson asked about the entrance to the site and said there was a history of accidents in the area and said he would be concerned about the number of pedestrians on the site and the speed of the road.

It was explained that access will be improved with a 10m radius, new footpaths and a new pedestrian crossing point on Moy Road as part of the proposal.

Speaking during the debate stage, Councilor Declan McAlinden thanked Armagh County Council for making the request.

“This facility, when completed, will hopefully transform Gaelic games in the borough and beyond, he said.

“It will benefit the local Portadown community and provide state-of-the-art training facilities which will facilitate healthy living projects for locals. Additionally, the GAA has demonstrated its commitment to enhancing the local sporting culture by choosing this site for its flagship development in Armagh.

“The locality will thus be associated with sporting excellence for years to come. The Hurling Club of St Malachy will also offer as a result of this development.

Councilor Ciaran Toman praised the applicant and agent for their work on the application and described it as an “important local project” which has been endorsed by all Armagh GAA clubs.

Praising the planning officers for a fantastic and detailed report, Councilor Paul Duffy said he was looking forward to seeing the plans come to fruition and expressed his hope that the development will help reduce accidents in the area.

Councilor Peter Lavery said it was a ‘good, solid app’ which will have long-term benefit for all users of the site, while Councilor Sam Nicholson said he was in favor of the app and joked, it was clear “there are a few pounds left. still in the GAA”.

Committee vice-chairman Councilor Kevin Savage offhandedly suggested that was not an opinion his local club treasurer would share before suggesting the bid was something the entire borough could hope for.

A motion to accept the recommendation to approve the application was made by Councilor Paul Duffy and was seconded by Councilor Declan McAlinden and approved by the House.

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