Swords ‘needs a stadium to maintain community’, says submission

by Sylvia Pownall

Swords needs a “modest-sized stadium” to avoid more urban sprawl and maintain a sense of community, it has been claimed.

The suggestion came via a submission on the draft master plans for four key landbanks which will see the population expand by 10,000 people and bring up to 18,000 new jobs.

A public consultation process on the council’s plans for Barrysparks & Crowscastle, Airside, Estuary West and Fosterstown opened last week.

In a submission, one resident welcomed the development plan but warned: “By any measurement this is a significant expansion.

“When a population reaches this projected size, it is of the utmost importance that the town has a distinct identity.

“Otherwise, it’s just more of the same, more suburban sprawl. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything in the plan that provides an identity.

Swords needs cultural and sporting infrastructure that will bring the new people into Swords life, together.

“Where is the key feature in this plan that will bind our community together? How will we know each other?

“A sizable minority of Swords residents are foreign-born and this plan should be an opportunity to forge a new community for everyone, that everyone can feel a part of, and participate in.

“How best then to serve this new, more cosmopolitan Swords?

“An ideal way is for the council to build a modest-sized stadium … this stadium could be home to a local league of Ireland football team, as well as being suitable for concerts, and other cultural and sporting events.”

The National Planning Framework recognises the growth potential of Swords and Fingal County Council has been considering its future development for more than a decade.

Pre-draft submissions from the public on the four master plans raised issues such as lack of schools, traffic gridlock, public transport, road infrastructure and the height and scale of new developments.

Swords is forecast to expand to a population of 100,000 people by 2040, with the delivery of the MetroLink light rail network playing a pivotal role.

A cultural quarter in the town centre is due for completion by 2022 and the town will host the Leinster Fleadh next year.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has hinted that it could get a new ‘borough council’ under a new local authority structure for the Dublin region, including its own directly-elected mayor.

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