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Decision on McHale Park floodlights due next week

The Flood lights at McHale park in Castlebar

Officials to shine light on big issue

Decision on McHale Park floodlights due next week

Daniel Carey

MAYO GAA chiefs are expected to learn the fate of the McHale Park floodlights next week.
Castlebar Town Council have asked An Bord Pleanála whether planning permission was required to move the lights at the Mayo GAA stadium, and a decision is expected on or before Thursday, May 20.
A spokesman for the planning board said that Castlebar Town Council ‘have asked [An Bord Pleanála] for its views’ on whether the repositioning of floodlights is ‘exempt’ from planning permission.
The fate of the controversial broadcasting tower, the subject of much complaint from the McHale Road Residents Association, is not due to be decided until on or before June 11. But the ABP spokesman said that it’s likely that both issues – the Council’s referral over the lights and the residents’ substantive appeal on matters including the tower – will be dealt with ‘by the same people at the same sitting’.
Mayo are due to meet Galway in the Connacht semi-final at Castlebar on June 27 provided John O’Mahony’s side beat Sligo on June 5. But the chairman of Mayo GAA Board insists there will be no problem with staging the fixture in McHale Park regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
James Waldron says he can envisage ‘double shifts [being] used to get it ready’ if the residents are successful in their appeal against Castlebar Town Council’s decision to grant retention planning permission for the €15 million development. Such an outcome might, for example, require the broadcasting tower to be altered, since it is higher and wider than was approved by the local authority.
“The Connacht semi-final was there last year, and we had only 4,000 seats in the stand,” Waldron noted. “So it won’t affect the fixture, assuming the match is there. I can see maybe double shifts [being] used to get it ready if that’s what’s required.”
The Mayo News understands that Mayo GAA Board moved the floodlights from their proposed locations because they were trying to minimise the ‘spill’ of artificial light onto the N5. The immediate question An Bord Pleanála must answer is whether they needed planning permission to do so.