Dalkey residents are calling for the construction of a new parish pastoral centre.

At a meeting on Friday night, it was revealed that proposed centre will be 6,000sq. ft and located at the entrance of the Church of Assumption car park.

The centre will consist of five meeting rooms, a conference space with the capacity to accommodate 300 people, a coffee dock, a parish office, reception area and toilets.

At the meeting, it was suggested that the present space at Our Lady’s Hall on Castle Street is no longer fit for purpose and is located too far away from the church.

According to Des Burke-Kennedy, a member of Dalkey Tidy Towns, over 200 people attended the meeting.

“Many present last night expressed surprise that the details released were unknown to most till very recently although they have been discussed earlier with DLRCC and the Archdiocese,” he said.

“Architect Maurice Fitzgerald used mounted drawings to explain the design.

“Chris Ferris outlined the funding plan which is based on having no long-term debt and suggested that of the approximate €5 million required, local funding will have a target of €2.25 million.

It was also revealed that the green space on the Dun Laoghaire side of the church will be used for a new access road to the re-designed car park. The new car park will have at least 10 less spaces than the present car park.

“Clearly, this proposal will need a great deal of further consideration by all involved,” says Burke-Kennedy.

“It would have a significant impact on Castle Street. All look forward to exchanging views on this and receiving updates over the coming months before a submission for planning permission emerges.”

Although not yet confirmed as to how the rest of the funds will be sourced, it is expected that public money will be not used.

“It’s a fantastic idea and it is such a positive thing for Dalkey,” says local Lisa Mardell on Facebook.

“Well done to the Committee who got the plans drawn up and all the work that was involved in setting it up.”