Angela McCormick had this great Drogheda story:
PLANS for a new town of 12,000 people on south of Drogheda, with the new E30 million stadium for Drogheda United at its heart, were unveiled this week.
It will see some 5,000 homes built on 360 acres of land on the Duleek road stretching from Platin to the Europa Hotel.
Dublin developer Bill Doyle told a meeting of east Meath Councillors he will provide more than E50 million in sports and road infrastructure if the project is approved.
Along with the new stadium, a ‘David Lloyd style’ tennis academy with six tennis courts is also on the way.
‘Drogheda United is leading the town into city status,’ a thrilled Drogs Chairman Chris Byrne told the Drogheda Independent
Confirming the deal Bill Doyle said his presentation included promises to build a 10,000 seater stadium, plus a 46,000 square foot leisure facility catering for all sports that includes all weather pitches, a 25 meter swimming pool, a tennis academy, a sports crèche and a top class gym.
The first 2,500 homeowners in the new town will be offered a year’s free membership of the facilities.
Doyle told the DI his plans include spending E22 million on a four and a half kilometer road linking the old N1 to the M1 motorway.
‘This is a ten year development. We have designated sites for three schools, as well as shops, offices and retail outlets. The social infrastructure will be built in conjunction with the houses and will includes community facilities and a medical centre,’ said Mr Doyle.
Plans for the development are expected to be lodged with Meath County Council by February 28.
Though Meath is the planning authority involved, Drogheda Borough Council has been fully briefed on the proposal.
Town Clerk Des Foley said it is a ‘very welcome’ development.
‘It is the start of the growth of Drogheda. We expect the population north and south of town to double in the next 20 years. It ties in with the planning strategy for the greater Drogheda area that the three local authorities have been working on for the past two years,’ he said.
Doyle is investing E110 million in the scheme which is a joint venture between Doyle Developments, Buvinda Developments, Murphy Developers and the Farrelly Brothers. The project is designed by Dublin architect Frank Crowley and UK company Sports Facilities International.
Drogheda United Chairman Vincent Hoey said while the stadium will be provided free the club plans to invest a further E9 million in the facility. ‘It is vital we get this stadium. We have been told by the FAI we must have new grounds by 2008,’ he said.
East Meath Councillor Dominic Hannigan however sounded a note of caution.
‘This will be add 30% to the local population and have a huge transport implications. A Julianstown bypass may be necessary.
‘To sanction another 5,000 homes east Meath councillors must be satisfied the community will be very well served,’ said the Labour councillor.
His Fianna Fail colleague Cllr Pat Boshell believes it is an ‘excellent proposal.