Planning permission allows for dual purpose

by Emma Nolan

Planning permission has been granted for two developments on lands at and adjoining the Parochial House on Seatown Road in Swords.
Property developers Rhonellen Developments LTD have been granted planning permission to build an Aldi supermarket on the site but have also been granted permission separately for a community development on the same site for the Swords Men’s Shed group, who are currently based at The Riasc Centre on Feltrim Road in Swords and “badly need” their own premises.
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) spoke to The Gazette about the plans which he described as a “win win for all”.
“The developers, while building a commercial development also want to give back to the community as part of its plans.”
While some locals have raised concerns around the additional traffic that will be created with a supermarket located on the road, Cllr Butler said that use of the Aldi carpark for St Colmcille’s School across the road will be permitted.
The Irish Men’s Shed’s Association (IMSA) is a community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all men where the primary activity is the provision of a friendly environment where the men are able to gather and or work on different projects.
The Gazette spoke to Sean O’Connor, chairman of Swords Men’s Sheds about the announcement.
“We’re in negotiations with Rhonellen at the moment,” O’Connor said. “We’re really looking for a place of our own where we won’t have to pay rent at all as we’re currently paying rent to the Riasc Centre. It’s very expensive with all the overhead expenses.”
O’Connor explained the group’s need for additional space. He said: “We have a small workshop up in the Riasc Centre but it’s not big enough for our needs so we need space for wood and other tools and materials.
“Basically our workshop is very very small, although the Riasc Centre do give us an area in the building for social gatherings and meetings and having a cup of tea, we still need a much bigger workshop to work in.”
Newly elected TD Louise O’Reilly (SF) said she is “delighted” that the planning permission for the community development has been granted.
She said: “There had been a lot of work done at a council level to achieve this after permission was initially refused in 2015.
“The project garnered support from all areas including the local arts committee and the Church of Ireland and will be a huge asset to the local community.”
A spokesperson from Fingal County Council confirmed that planning permission had been granted to Rhonellen Developments.

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