PLANNING PERMISSION EXPIRES ON LEISURE CENTRE SITE
The group responsible for developing a leisure centre for Mitchelstown have pulled their application for an extension for planning permission already granted to a central site in the town, a day before council officials were due to make a decision on the matter.
Now the planning permission for the location, adjacent to the Presentation and CBS schools in Mitchelstown, known locally as the Canon’s field will expire.
Cork County Council’s decision on whether or not to extend the five-year planning permission awarded to the Canon’s field site was due last Wednesday, June 18. However, the Leisure Centre Committee (LCC) withdrew their application the day before.
This week the chairman of the LCC Ben Lynch explained to The Avondhu that despite hopes that the site would be treated as a special case, the committee withdrew their application as extensions to planning permission is granted only if works have already started on the site.
“When we sought an extension to the 2003 planning decision we were well aware that we were not in a strong position as “substantial works” had not been undertaken on the construction of the leisure centre,” Mr Lynch said this week.
“Instead we based our case on our position as a community group and hoped that an exception could be made. In discussions with planning authorities after our request was submitted it became apparent that they were precluded from treating it as an exception and would not be able to grant the extension. On that basis we decided to withdraw."
Mr Lynch added that not having planning permission will have “absolutely no bearing” on the LCC’s chances of acquiring a grant from a Swimming Pool Programme which will be central to the funding of the proposed centre.
Furthermore Mr Lynch said the group will not be reapplying for planning permission for the site at this point in time.
“There would be no point in reapplying as the position of the location of the centre has not been decided and the Swimming Pool Programme is not yet open to applicants,” Mr Lynch concluded.
The location of the leisure centre has proven to be a source of contention. While the original proposals intended the project to be developed on the Canon’s field, following an agreement with the developers of the Cork Mart project the LCC decided that the leisure centre would benefit greater by taking an offer of land next to the proposed shopping centre at George’s Street, Mitchelstown, citing the financial security the leisure centre would enjoy as the deciding factor.
However, Mitchelstown Community Council believe that the needs of school students would be better served by the leisure centre if it were located on the Canon’s field.
Thursday 26th June 6:03pm