New multisport campus on Tibradden Road closer to a reality

by Gary Ibbotson

Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club (DSDAC) has revealed that planning permission has been lodged for an extensive sports campus on the St Thomas estate.

Funding for the development has been applied for through the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

In 2013, DSDAC bought 15 acres of St Thomas estate close to Marlay Park in the view of developing the lands for athletics use.

Ten additional acres were purchased in 2016.

According to Barry O’Grady, director at DSDAC, when the county council introduced the Sports Facilities Strategy 2017-2022, the decision was made to try and expand the use of the sporting facility to a multisport campus with an emphasis on minority sports.

“To this end we approached a number of minority sports clubs and national governing bodies, some of whom eagerly joined the project: Fencing Ireland, Dundrum Archers, Special Olympics, Orwell Wheelers, Belpark Triathlon and Trojan Gymnastics,” says O’Grady.

“We partnered with the council to design the multisport campus on 20 acres of the land, and then to make the application to the LSSIF.

“Part of the deal involves us giving a 35 year lease to the council on those 20 acres.

“The council submitted a Part 8 planning application for the campus.”

The proposed design includes a 400m external running track with associated field athletics facilities (long jump, hammer, shotput, javelin), an 80 metre indoor six-lane sprint track, a 700 sqm multipurpose sport hall and a 600 sqm gymnastics centre.

Other general facilities such as changing facilities, storage for equipment, club offices and a café are also included.

“Needless to say, a huge amount of time and work by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council officials and volunteers in our club went into this project, and we are delighted it has gotten this far,” says Declan Ryan, chairman of the club.

“With such a rich variety of minority sports coming together with us, the campus will be able to cater for the interests of a wide range of people in the community.

“So, we are hopeful that funding from the LSSIF will help this application turn into a reality up in the fields of the St Thomas estate.”

St Thomas estate is located on the Tibradden Road, only a short walk from the College Road entrance to Marlay Park.

O’Grady says that “given its proximity to Marlay Park, it can be considered an extension of the sports facilities in the western part of the park.

The club say they are expecting a decision on their application in a couple of months.

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