When An Bord Pleanála 13 months ago upheld the decision of Castlebar Town Council to grant permission to Mayo County GAA Board for the retention of the facility, it insisted on a number of modifications ‘in the interest of orderly development and the visual amenities of the area’.
The access stairs to the facility must be located within the structure of the tower from the television studio level upwards while the proposed safety railing at television camera deck level must be collapsible and should only be used for the televising or recording of games
The board also requested that the galvanised steel handrails proposed for the steps on either side of the tower must receive a factory applied powder coated paint finish in a colour agreed with the town council.
A total of 16 revised planning conditions had been imposed by the planning appeals board after taking 53 weeks to consider an appeal drafted on behalf of the residents of McHale Road by Peter Sweetman and Associates, Dublin.
Now it has been confirmed to The Connaught Telegraph that the required works on the tower will get underway shortly.
It is this newspaper’s understanding Paddy McNicholas, county board chairman, and Kevin O’Toole, secretary, have been working very closely with the McHale Road Residents Association to bring the long-running planning saga to a satisfactory conclusion.
Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who had helped highlight the concerns of residents back in 2010, said he could not praise Mr. McNicholas and Mr. O’Toole highly enough for their common sense approach to the matter.
“They have been like a breath of fresh air and have won back the support of the residents. I am confident the difficulties householders in the area had with the TV tower will be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction,” he added.
It has also been revealed that negotiations have been successfully completed with the contractor, engineer and solicitor who were owed €1.5 million by the county board for work already carried out on the €20 million McHale Park project. A sum of €1 million has been saved as a result of the process.