Monday 17 March 2008

Fears growing that Sligo Racecourse will be rezoned

THERE are now growing concerns that the green area at the racecourse in Cleveragh will be rezoned and sold off.

People First, a community organisation, has expressed growing fears this week that a decision to rezone the land could be made shortly.

Liz Foley, secretary of the organisation said: "There is now growing concern that senior council officials may recommend that much of the Racecourse lands be rezoned for development and sold off. Such a decision would be unacceptable."

A public meeting is being held this week to highlight their ongoing campaign to ensure that this land is retained as a green area for recreation.

The public meeting will be held in the MCR Community Centre, Mail Coach Road, this Thursday evening, March 13 ,at 8.30pm.

Jennie Conlon, of People First will chair the meeting which will be addressed by the Deputy Mayor of Sligo, Cllr Declan Bree, and by local historian Fiona Gallagher.

Ms Foley said: "Thursday's public meeting is one in a series of such events which we are organising to raise public consciousness about the importance of the racecourse lands."

At a previous meeting, Independent councillor Declan Bree said that he firmly believed that the county manager would bring forward proposals recommending that the area be rezoned and sold.

He added that councillors were not informed of these negotiations or what plans the county manager had for the racecourse.

He said that four years ago, when the Sligo city and Environs Development Plan was being considered for adoption, the county manager and his officials recommended that councillors re-zone the lands at the Racecourse for housing. However, this was rejected by councillors and zoned Public Open Space/Green Links.

He said the land should be leased for sport and recreational purposes if Sligo Racecourse Company decided to move. Although councillors voted against the proposals last time, Cllr Bree said the people of Sligo still needed to be vigilant.

Sligo Weekender

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