CLIFFONEY/GRANGE youth soccer club and the local parish council were the big winners of Monday's County Council meeting after the green light was given to a proposal to re-zone a 23 acre site to allow for the' development of a soccer pitch and clubhouse along with a burial ground at Aughagad..
Councillors, who met to discuss the Second Manager's Report on submissions and observations relating to the Draft Development Plan, voted narrowly by nine votes to seven to back a submission by Gavin Engineering on behalf of Gilleece Brothers Construction, Grange Pastoral Council and Cliffoney/Grange Youth soccer club for a new development which will also include a proposal for a residential scheme.
However, council officials opposed the idea saying the proposed residential element of 17 acres would have the potential to provide at least 78 houses giving an additional population of 171 people, and that this was unjustified given the level of vacant dwellings.
Councillor Michael Clarke proposed an amendment to the Draft Development Plan in line with the submission already made that 17 acres be zoned for residential uses, three acres be zoned for a burial ground and a further three be set aside for a soccer pitch, training ground and a clubhouse. At present, the lands were zoned as 'buffer zone!
Clr. Clarke said it was a very generous proposal by the developers and he was strongly recommending that the plan be backed. The motion was seconded by Clr. Sean MacManus who said he would be normally reluctant to back such plans but in this case the developer was giving back six acres to the community for much needed facilities. Clr. Hubert Keaney said a lot of land had already been zoned for housing and he did not believe it was right to proceed with more
houses at that location. Councillors voted 9 to 7 to amend the Grange mini-plan to rezone the 23 acre site to allow for the development to go ahead.