Appeal lodged against Athenry Dog Park plans

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Plans for a new dog park in Athenry have hit a speed bump as an appeal against its permission has been made to An Bord Pleanála.

Galway County Council awarded planning permission for a dog park “where dogs can socialise, exercise, and play as well as provide an area where dog owners can socialise” last month.

The park is intended for a site at at Knockaunglass field on the Esker Road, which Athenry Community Council allowed the developer to use.

The dog park will be divided into three separate, contained areas: One are specifically for small dogs, one unrestricted area for dogs of all sizes, and a socialisation area.

Each of the three areas will include equipment such as tyres, planks, tubes and other items to stimulate the dogs at play.

For the owners, the design includes two shelters where people can sit out of the rain and still keep an eye on their dogs.

That decision has been appealed by Athenry Boys School which had previously made its issues with the project known to the county council.

The school, which is located directly adjacent to the chosen site of the dog park, said that a number of parents have contacted them with their concerns.

Of particular concern to the school’s board of management in their submission to the council were road safety concerns arising out of this development and the increased traffic it will bring.

The school said that there are currently no warning signs or lights along the road indicating that there is a school ahead, and that there is no footpath along this section of road.

Another issue the BoM raised is the noise expected from the dog park, saying that there are concerns that “the noise will interfere with the class work of pupils”.

“The school currently has a problem with stray dogs accessing the school site and fouling pupil’s play areas,” the BoM also said to the county council.

It added that “While we acknowledge that those pursuing this development are responsible dog owners” the development could still attract more strays to the area.

The last area of concern to the school was “how the dogs will react at pupil recreation times” saying that the noise and activity was sure to attract the dogs’ attention.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a ruling on this appeal by November 6.