THE new community hub in Creeslough has taken a step forward after councillors gave the development the green light.
At this week’s meeting of Donegal County Council, the members voted to approve works on the proposed development of the Creeslough Community Regeneration Project.
According to Donegal County Council the village plan will outline opportunities for project development, village renewal, regeneration and healing in the aftermath of the tragedy of October 7, 2022. The project will be led by the multi-disciplinary and international consultancy service Arup, who are offering their services pro bono to assist the Creeslough community.
The site is located on lands to the rear of St. Michael’s Parish Church, Creeslough, known locally as ‘The Field’.
The plan includes the construction of a new community hub type building with flexible multi-user spaces including a community and sports hall, gym, spectator terrace, a multi-purpose community room with kitchen facilities, storage and a community consultation room.
The community hub is intended as a flexible facility that will provide a broad range of rooms and spaces to support multi-faceted community activity.
Office accommodation is also proposed, which is targeted towards the operational and governance model for the site.
It is likely that this accommodation will house the Creeslough Community Association and the Community Support Worker position(s) funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
A small consultation room is provided, which will service health and well being services and cater for continued pro-bono services to the Creeslough community.
The plan also includes the construction of a multi-purpose community field, Multi-use games area (MUGA) and recreational track with replacement/upgraded flood lighting and with capacity for civic, cultural, sporting, recreational, social gatherings and events. In addition, there will be a community garden including: a community play park, allotments, potting shed, landscaping, seating, walks, coffee pavilion and outdoor seating area, bandstand/performance area and a pop-up market space.
The grounds will include 53 car parking spaces, two bus parking spaces, EC charging points and eight parent and toddler spaces.
Public consultation in respect of the Creeslough Community Regeneration Project has been an evolving process formally beginning with non-statutory consultation on May 4 2023 with further public consultation also carried out.
According to a report on the project, a total of 66 specific suggestions were made in the response to the first stage consultation while the second stage consultation drop-in event was attended by 63 people and a total of 59 submissions were received.
A total of 110 comments were collated which collectively made 178 individual recommendations in relation to the Village Plan and the draft designs for the Community Regeneration Project.
The overwhelming response to the draft Community Regeneration Project was positive and this was the main theme of the responses received.
There was strong demand for a swimming pool which was ruled out for viability reasons and for childcare provision which was ruled out for private commercial market reasons.
Otherwise the scheme was adjusted to include a gymnasium, MUGA and coffee pavilion in response to the consultation response received.
All submissions were taken into consideration in the evolution of the project design which has been taken forward to Part 8 planning stage.
At the meeting of Donegal County Council on Monday, Cllr Michael McClafferty said he very much welcomed the proposal coming forward and said it will be a great addition to the area.
Speaking on behalf of Fr John Joe Duffy and the people of Creeslough, Cllr McClafferty expressed his gratitude to the council, councillors and the emergency services who he said, are all involved in this unfortunate journey over the past year.
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Martin Harley said everyone is aware that it is coming up to the anniversary of the tragedy. He said he wants the people of Creeslough to know that the thoughts of all the members are with them in the coming weeks and in the future.