Plans for new €7.1 million adventure centre in Dundalk overturned for a second time
Plans for a new 4,540sqm adventure centre on the outskirts of Dundalk look to be dead and buried after An Bord Pleanála overturned Louth County Council’s decision to given the project the go ahead for a second time last week.
Planning permission for the project was first granted in February 2016 but was subsequently overturned on appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
The people behind the proposed €7.1 million development at Red Cow on the Newry Road, Handlova Ltd T/A Cooley Spring Water, returned with a renewed application towards the end of last year with this being given the go ahead subject to 12 conditions being met back in March.
When the initial plans for the We Are Vertigo centre were approved, an appeal was subsequently lodged by Ms Eileen Kirk from Upper Faughart, with the board refusing the application the following June due to a lack of sewerage infrastructure serving the proposed site of the development.
Ms Kirk appealed again and once again her appeal proved successful.
Outlining their reasons for rejecting the plans for the new adventure centre, which was to create 120 jobs, An Bord Pleanála said: “The proposed development is in an area which is at risk of flooding. The Board is not satisfied, on the basis of the information lodged with the planning application and in response to the appeal, that the proposed development would not give rise to an increased risk of flooding either on the proposed development site itself, or on other lands in the vicinity. The proposed development would, therefore, be prejudicial to public health and contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
They added: “The Board was not satisfied that sufficient information has been provided by the applicant in respect of assessment of the traffic impacts of the proposed development, but decided not to include this as an additional reason having regard to the substantial reason for refusal above.”
The plans were for an indoor multi-activity adventure sports complex (4,540sqm ground floor area with 555sqm mezzanine floor area and with maximum overall height of 21.45m) with car parking, landscaping and associated site development works. As part of their application they had also been given the go ahead to demolish a non-habitable derelict cottage and outbuildings.
The proposed new centre is aimed at replicating the existing We Are Vertigo centre, which opened in Belfast in 2013.
As well as a trampoline park, adventure centre, spa and restaurant, the proposal for We Are Vertigo Dundalk also included indoor ninja assault courses, an indoor skydiving centre and a state-of-the-art gym.
While the council have approved the renewed plans, it looks unlikely that the developers will be able to proceed with their plans at this location for a third time.