New 8/10 thousand seater indoor stadium, Dundalk

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    • #708332

      Here is an article from the local “Argus” newspaper in Dundalk, Co. Louth. It sounds good, but does anyone else have further info/artists imps etc? Especially those who attended the local residents meeting where the plans were shown:

      One of the most exciting and ambitious ventures for this area, estimated to cost over €200m. and entailing the biggest investment in tourism in Louth, never mind Dundalk, that will provide a centrepiece sports and event arena to host top concerts featuring international stars as well as other major entertainment shows, is at an advanced stage of planning.

      The venture is being undertaken by the Kirk family on the site of their Carnbeg owned golf course a mile outside town on the Armagh Road, and is projected to become a reality inside the next two to three years.

      The developers are actively seeking the support of local authority members and residents to ensure that the plans that provide for an 8,000 all seated indoor arena costing between €40m and €45m passes smoothly through the planning process and ensures that it becomes an immense tourist attraction and major contributor to the local economy.

      Central to the plan proceeding is the building of a new inter change off the motorway at the Armagh Road that will cost between €3m and €6m.

      This will have to be funded by the developers, likely involving other local developers. Permission has been granted for a major industrial and warehouse park in the area whose developers are also reportedly keen to have the interchange built.

      The venture will also require permission to build 500 houses that will be constructed by an outside party at an estimated €150m. on the golf course. It follows the same model as the town’s race course, with the residential development providing part funding for the project, and the rest being provided by the developers.

      The developers also plan to carry out a €15m. extension to the new Park Inn Hotel, turning its niteclub into a new children’s facility, as well as to build a further large amenity in the form of a new football pitch at a cost of €1m. The existing astro turf five a side complex will remain.

      The venture “ came out of the notion that Dundalk can be the centre for events based tourism (in the country)”, explained Jan Van Dijk, spokesman for the developers.

      The intention is to build on the success that the town’s racecourse stadium has been in this respect with the resumption of greyhound racing at Dowdallshill bringing sizable crowds to town and set to increase with the extension of the stadium and the imminent construction of an all-weather track that will act as a sizable visitor attraction with 25 horse meetings to be staged yearly at the venue.

      However, it will be nothing on the scale of the sports and event centre the potential benefit from which is seen as immense for the tourist industry, with the arena becoming “a major generator of economic activity for the town,” told Mr. Van Dijk , one of the country’s leading architects whose local based firm have been working on the plans for the last number of months.

      It is expected that an application will be lodged with Louth County Council by the end of January seeking planning permission for the project that will entail seeking a material contravention of the existing planning classification of the golf course on which it’s proposed to site the bulk of the development.

      The development will take in over 100 acres, and will entail the construction of a proposed 500 houses, and extending the newly opened Radisson Park Inn Hotel, adding 160 new bedrooms on top of the existing 84, and will result in the hotel being upgraded to five star status.

      The developers are also to convert the existing hotel nite club into a play centre and community crèche, and also propose to build a full sized soccer pitch, all of which will form part of the extensive amenities open to the residents of the housing development. Already on site there is a major leisure centre in the hotel, and residents will have the country’s biggest state of the art concert and event centre right on their doorstep.

      However, the developers aim to attract patrons from all over the country from Cork to Donegal, offering international stars of such ilk as Robbie Williams and Phil Collins as headline attractions for concerts and also to stage major sports events such as wrestling, ice hockey, basketball and other entertainment activities, as well as exhibitions, and the like of cars, trucks, boat shows, and to offer the arena aas a venue for major gatherings like party conferences that will bring a flood of visitors into the area on a regular basis every month, with a fair proportion expected to stay overnight.

      It is anticipated once the arena is up and running other hotel chains will look to locate in Dundalk. There is something like 700 hotel bedrooms presently in the catchment area that wouldn’t be enough to cater for the heavily increased overnight stays.

      But the anticipated shortfall in accommodation will largely be met with the extension of the Park Inn, coupled with the building of the new Crown Plaza Hotel at the grounds of the DKIT and with also plans to build a hotel as part of the racecourse development.

      The massively improved infrastructure, particularly roads, with the cross border section of the new motorway due to be completed by 2007, is a major boon to the developers plans. Patrons travelling from the country’s two major cities of Dublin and Belfast, could travel each way to town and back in less than 40 minutes.

      The Point Depot and the Odyssey providea major on-going injection to tourism in Dublin and Belfast, respectively, and the developers envisage that the new modern and even more spacious Dundalk Arena will provide this area with the same and indeed an even bigger fillip.

      Their long term plans include requesting CIE to build a new section of railway line to the venue.

      Traffic management arrangements for the venture will include the provision a shuttle bus service from the town’s railway station for patrons who travel by train. Those who travel directly by car or coach will also be brought by shuttle service to the arena from a large parking area that will be located on the western side of the motorway, close to the venue.

      The arena holds the potential to create upwards of 30 full-time jobs, and up on 200 on a part-time basis, with it estimated that 120 personnel alone will be needed to oversee security and car parking arrangements on the occasions of events.

      The developers aim to run something like 150 events, including 50 concerts at the venue in the first year.

      What do you think?

    • #764777

      i heard somethign about this project but there was a 10,000 all seater soccer stadium being built (outdoors). There are several articles on the interweb about it but i dont know if the project is going ahead.

    • #764778

      This article was published in the Argus newspaper in December 2005. The plans are supposedly going to be submitted this month (Jan). I was wondering did anyone have a sneak preview?

    • #764779

      Sounds more like 500 houses with a concert venue on the side to me.

    • #764780

      With Odyssey 40 minutes away and RDS/Point/Fairyhouse another 40 mins away – is there really a need (at least at this location)?

    • #764781
      Rory W

      Sounds exactly like the proposal for the new home of Drogheda United that was proposed in an article in the Drogheda Independent a few months ago – construction due to start in April and supposedly ready for 2007 season (also proposed as a concert venue).

    • #764782

      Although the Odyssey is quite impressive, the same can’t be said (anymore) for the Dublin venues which are miles behind. They resemble seated warehouses when you’re inside and are a bit of an embarassment when we host international bands.

      You also have to think of the 100,000+ people in Louth. Also Meath, Monaghan, Cavan and Down/Armagh are all closer to Dundalk than either capital, that’s a large market to draw from. The venues in Belfast/Dublin are more like an hour away from Dundalk. The idea, I think, is to also have an icehockey team (like the Belfast Giants) that will compete in the British league (which will get the thumbs up from all the cross-border committees up here) since there is no comparable Irish league.

      I’m pretty sure it will go forward, along with any projects in Drogheda. Reason being there is no real tourism draw to Louth, even though it is very historical and has much scenery to offer. Meath has played the tourist card excellently and Louth is far behind in developing attractions. The project coinsides with new hotel developments in the area and I’m sure will be followed with refurbishments of many local historical sites, which are plentiful but mostly unknown to the public.

    • #764783

      Drogheda to show way with new stadium

      Gerry McDermott

      EIRCOM League clubs are losing thousands of euro every year because of the poor standard of facilities at most grounds.

      They are struggling to rectify the situation because the majority are cash-strapped entities living on a week to week existence and unable to generate the large amount of capital funding need to undertake ground developments.

      Under the FAI Licensing programme clubs were asked to draw up a club infrastructure plan which must deliver the criteria looked for by 2010.

      This includes a set number of covered seats, bigger dressing rooms, improved floodlighting, proper turnstiles, effective ticketing systems, control rooms, first aid rooms and media facilities.

      Meeting their licensing requirements is the primary objective of all clubs and so tight are their budgets that there is usually no money left to include the type of facilities that could generate income for clubs outside of match days like bars, restaurants, conference centres and meeting rooms.

      Little wonder then that the FAI and clubs are closely looking at a revolutionary new system that can cut the costs of building sporting infrastructure by up to 50 per cent.

      Drogheda United are set to announce that their new 10,000-seater stadium on the edge of the town is to be built by Sports Facilities International.


      Within six months of planning permission being granted, Drogheda United will be handed the keys to a brand new stadium which will be ready to move into and will come with a guaranteed life of at least 60 years. SFI will do everything from building the stands, laying the pitch, installing the floodlights, erecting electronic scoreboards and providing a ticketing system and all for around €10m, or €1,000 per seat.

      That’s a lot cheaper than the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road which is going to cost €7,300 per seat and that’s why SFI are set to revolutionise the sports stadium markets by being able to deliver affordable stadiums up to a capacity of 40,000.

      Drogheda United director Chris Byrne explained that the cost savings were a huge attraction for them.

      “We have been working on this project for the last two years and went all over Europe looking at stadiums. We saw SFI’s work when we visited Gloucester Rugby Club and saw the new stand they had built there for 55 per cent of the cost of a conventional building.”

      SFI was born after its Project and Operations Director Edward McCarthy was involved in a plan to build a new stadium for Brazilian club Corinthians in Sao Paulo. The project collapsed because the costs were prohibitive and it was while searching for a way to build a stadium without breaking the bank that McCarthy discovered a new way of tackling the project.

      “We use steel which is pre-engineered in a factory and then erected on site. We don’t need deep foundations.

      “The foundations of an orthodox stadium could be 13 metres deep whereas ours would only require foundations that are one or two metres deep.


      “There are huge savings using this modular approach and we offer a turn-key package as well as building stadiums in steps depending on the clients’ budget and plans for the future.

      “It’s basically like working with a Meccano set and we can dismantle a stand and erect it elsewhere if necessary. The flexible construction means that seating capacities can be increased at a later stage by simply removing the roof, raising a tier, and replacing the roof.”

      SFI are currently building a new 6,000-seater stadium for Scottish club Gretna and a 20,000-seater for Royal Antwerp which will also include a casino plus retail and commercial facilities.

      They have also made presentations to UEFA, the FAI, the GAA and the World Cup Cricket Committee and gained approval from each organisation for their stadium concept.

      The FAI are also likely to look at the SFI method when it comes to building the proposed 20,000-seater stadium at Abbotstown.

      FAI Licensing Manager Bob Breen admits that Eircom League clubs could find the method an attractive way of implementing their club infrastructure plans.

      “We are looking at this very closely to see if it can be more cost efficient than the traditional methods because it would have great appeal by delivering better value for money especially as most clubs use government grants to fund their projects,” said Breen.

    • #764784

      Taken from todays Argus

    • #764785

      Does anyone know if there have been any objections to this?

      It is different than the Drogheda plan in the fact that it is an indoor facility, and will have adjoining development (hotel, residential area). Indoor arenas can accommodate a much larger range of functions. If you want to see hockey games, indoor concerts, wrestling, car shows, dance shows (riverdance etc) and events like this you have to go to Dublin or Belfast if you live in this area.

      There is a large population that can be served here, the approx 100k people in Louth, the tens of thousands in Armagh and Down, and also Cavan, Monaghan and Meath. It has a lot of potential. As I hear, local residents are quite pleased with the plans and are positive about the venture.

      In my opinion, it would be one of the best, if not the best attribute Dundalk could get to promote the town as an attraction and further its progress to hallowed citydom.

    • #764786

      This project is still on, with an article in the property section of “The Argus” local paper.

    • #764787

      Louth CoCo will decide next month if this gets planning permission

    • #764788

      everything in ireland takes flippin ages to get permission.

    • #764789

      Hey guys,

      Just to note, that in todays Dundalk Life (subsidy of Dundalk Democrat) the front page headline is that planning permission has been granted for this. Work expected to begin February, to be opened in November 2009. Mentioned some Irish dancing things down for its launch.


    • #764790

      @lordmuggins wrote:

      Hey guys,

      Just to note, that in todays Dundalk Life (subsidy of Dundalk Democrat) the front page headline is that planning permission has been granted for this. Work expected to begin February, to be opened in November 2009. Mentioned some Irish dancing things down for its launch.


      are they not expecting the obligatory appeal to the bord???

      … must be very cilivised in that part of the country….

    • #764791

      It said that the council gave it full permission.. im assuming there’s been public consultation?

      I can’t see a whole lot of problems.. as its not as if its going to be an eyesore in someones backyard — its a very much greenfield site.


    • #764792

      Location: Armagh Road, Carnbeg, Dundalk, Co Louth. Proposed development: indoor arena, bars/café/restaurants, school of music, extension to hotel, play centre and crèche, 947 residential units with car-parking and site works. Applicant: Carnbeg Developments Ltd. Appellant(s): Gerry Duffy, Colin Murdoch, Nicholas G and Ann Marie Marmion, Anthony and Sandra O’Brien and Maria Rafferty.

    • #764793

      Sinn Féin’s position on Carnbeg Development Material Contravention,

      Published: 17 September, 2007

      Sinn Féin’s position on Carnbeg Development Material Contravention, September 2007.

      Sinn Féin’s 5 County Councillors are voting in support of the above Material Contravention at the September meeting of Louth County Council (17ú Meán Fómhair 2007). The development consists of nearly 500 homes, an extension to the existing hotel, arena, crèche, playing pitch and hockey and basketball courts at Carnbeg on the Armagh Road. There are 43 conditions attached to this contravention.

      Outling the reasons for this position Sinn Féin’s County Councillor for the area Tomás Sharkey stated;

      “This decision has been a long time in the making for Sinn Féin. Had the original proposals been before the Council meeting, I am sure that our position would be to oppose it. It was totally developer-led.

      “But over the last 10 months, issues raised by Councillor Jim Loughran and myself as well as those raised by members of the public have been taken on board. I was the only elected representative to make a submission to the plans. Planning officials in Louth County Council have formulated a long list of 43 conditions to this planning permission. These conditions should be studied carefully by everybody.

      Dundalk North West badly needs new roads infrastructure if this project is to go ahead. It is a condition that the developer pays more than €5m towards the construction of the western infrastructure road and that the arena will not operate until that infrastructure is in place. More than €6m would be collected in development levies for this project. These levies are for the Council to spend on improving sewage, drainage, roads, recreation and amenities.

      The phasing aspects of the conditions, if adhered to should ensure a sensible approach to the building project. No new residents should be living under siege in a large building site. A major part of the building of the arena must be complete within a short period of time. Road bases should be in place before the construction of the houses.
      In total, a €2m bond would be placed with the council to ensure that this does not become one of the many unfinished estates in Ireland.
      Part V must be adhered to. Nearly 100 homes will be available to the Council for applicants on our social and affordable lists.
      High block walls must be built along the backs of the homes. This, we hope will allay the fears of residents in the Annies.
      However, there is an outstanding issue of the pedestrian/cyclepath leading onto the Annies. This country road is dangerous. It will increase the threat to life to proceed with the pedestrian access. We are calling for this to be deleted from the plans and for there to be no access onto the Annies.

      A fully equipped outdoor children’s playground must be provided in tandem with the first 100 homes.
      There will be a permanent taxi rank and bus shelters conditioned onto this site. There will be a crèche built in tandem with the homes; it cannot be left to the end and ignored as often happens elsewhere. The basketball and hockey courts are to be moved away from the homes, therefore reducing annoyance to residents but providing amenities for young people. The play areas are part of the open space, which will be taken in hand by the council and won’t be for exclusive use.

      No more than 150 homes will be built before the Department of Education and Science has committed to the provision of education facilities in the area. This is a major condition. We, as a council are doing our best to ensure that there will not be an East Meath nightmare in this area. Minister Hanafin has recently called for these types of measures and Louth is now showing example from the front. I believe that this particular condition should receive positive attention in the national media. It sets the standard and also sets the agenda for the upcoming review of various development plans in the County.

      I have been in contact with the Minister’s staff on the issue of schools and will continue to push for speedy education facilities.”

      Councillor Jim Loughran also represents North Louth and he stated;

      ” I wish to repeat the fact that had the original proposal been for discussion today, I would have had an easy task in rejecting it. My self and Councillor Sharkey have put a lot of time and effort into scrutinising every aspect of the plans and had to wait a long time for the manager’s responses to submissions and for the conditions to be placed on the development.

      “We wrote to more than 350 residents in the area surrounding this proposal, took numerous calls conveying a variety of views. We had a copy of the plans in the Sinn Féin office in Dundalk for the public to view and comment on. We met numerous residents at all times of the day and night.

      “Our responsibility is to ensure that the best possible design and facilities are included in this project. Headline stories of the arena are catchy and can create a certain buzz around an issue like this. But we have been making our decisions carefully. Last week in the Dundalk Democrat we were quoted as saying that our decision will be informed and knowledge based. Therefore, it is the 43 conditions here today that make the proposal worth considering.

      “They are tight and, if adhered to would help to provide an arena which will help Dundalk stand against a downturn in the economy. They would bring a playground, pitch, courts and bus shelter to a new neighbourhood. All things we wish for areas like nearby Fatima in Dundalk.

      “The conditions work towards the speedy delivery of the western infrastructure and the delivery of services to this are. I hope that sewage services will be another step closer for the residents in the Annies as a result of the conditions. There is an outstanding issue of the access for pedestrians and bikes onto the Annies which we want removed from the plans.”

      17th September 2007

    • #764794

      Green light for ?55m Carnbeg development

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      Wednesday September 19 2007

      Louth County Council has given the thumbs up to plans for a ?55million development at Carnbeg which includes a 9,000 seater arena with five bars, restaurants and cafes, almost 500 houses, an extension to the existing Park Inn hotel, a music school, children?s play facilities and playing fields.

      Councillors voted by 24 to two in favour of a proposal to materially contravene the County Development Plan in order to allow planning permission for the ambitious development on a 96 acre site off the Armagh Road.

      They heard at their monthly meeting on Monday that planners were recommending the granting of planning permission for the project, which will bring in over ?6million in development levies. A total of 43 conditions were attached, including detailed phasing of how the different elements of the development are to proceed.

      Senior Planner Mr. Gerry Duffy said the three key issues of the proposed development were the events arena which would be a flagship development that would make a significant contribution to the development of Dundalk as a Gateway town.

      The second element was the extension of the hotel by 150 bedrooms, a new spa facility and conversion of the nightclub to a children?s play area, while the third element was the residential development.

      The project was a vote of confidence in Dundalk and its ability to develop tourism and attract visitors, said Mr. Duffy.

      The housing element was a significant development, which was important if Dundalk is to reach the 60,000 population targetted in the National Spatial Strategy.

      It fitted in with the Council?s objective to encourage development north of the Castletown River and there would be a significant financial contribution from development levies towards the construction of Western Infrastructure which will link the Armagh Road with the Newry Road.

      There were significant traffic implications to the proposal, he conceded, but he felt these were addressed by the parking provision, which was to be provided on-site with 900 spaces, in association with public transport and coaches would play for events attracting 100 per cent capacity.

      Regarding the provision of schools and retail services, he said that while it was a significant residential development, it was not of a critical level to require the provision of a school or neighbourhood centre.

      The development would not support a school in itself and a site had been identified for the provision of a school in that area. One of the conditions attached to the planning, he pointed out, related to the phasing of the development which ties in housing with the provision of a school. This meant no more than 150 houses could be built until the Department of Education provides a school.

      He believed that the project was ?a significant development which has the potential to make a significant contribution to Dundalk as a Gateway town. The developer has shown very strong commitment to the town of Dundalk which is to be welcomed.?

      Cllr. Seamus Keelan proposed that they approve the material contravention of the Development Plan and this was seconded by Cllr. Mary Grehan.

      Cllr. Ken O Heligh from Drogheda, wanted an amendment which would make the provision of a primary school one of the conditions of granting planning permission.

      This, however, was deemed to be invalid .

      Several councillors spoke in favour of the project, which they saw as crucial to the development of Dundalk as a Gateway town.

      Cllr. Mary Grehan pointed out that Dundalk had lost out on numerous projects over the years. There was, she continued, very high unemployment rates in the town and she urged that they should look seriously at something which would provide jobs.

      County Manager Mr. Conn Murray took the view that the proposal could make an excellent contribution for growing Dundalk as a Gateway town. While there were issues he felt those would be addressed by the conditions imposed by the planning department.

      Only Cllrs Ken O Heligh and Ged Nash, voted against the material contravention of the Development Plan.

    • #764795

      “Ireland’s Stonehenge” site to be preserved
      Carnbeg development will see site of monument maintained.
      By Anne Marie Eaton
      A site of international archeological importance will not be interfered with if the planned arena and housing development at Carnbeg goes ahead.
      The site on the Armagh Road is known as “Ireland’s Stonehenge”, and was once the location of a massive monument bigger than the Stonehenge which stands today in England.
      County Council planners recommended that the site remain exempt from development when dealing with the major planning application for the housing and arena, the design of which has been inspired by Newgrange.
      A report on the application stated, “It is important that the archeology on site is protected. A planning condition to secure a comprehensive archeological evaluation of the site prior to the commencement of the development will be included.
      “In particular, I consider that it is very important that an area adjacent to the Armagh Road should not be interfered with in any way owing to the extent of known archeological sites located there.”
      The archeological importance was included as one of the 43 conditions attached to the application being granted.
      It states that an archeologist must be appointed to carry out a geophysical survey of the site, who will then submit a written report to the planning authority and Department of the Environment.
      There can be no site preparation or construction work until this process has been completed and the condition once again re-iterates, “The area to the front of the development adjoining the Armagh Road shall be kept free from development, protected from damage during construction and shall be maintained in a proper and satisfactory manner.”
      It has been recorded that the massive circular stone structure was still in existence at Carnbeg in 1748, but by 1907 it had vanished completely.
      The exact site of Ireland’s Stonehenge was unknown until 1988, when an aerial photo from 18 years earlier positively identified Carnbeg as the site of the structure.
      Last year an archeological survey of the site revealed the remains of an enormous triple ringed structure beneath the surface.

    • #764796

      I know this has been approved but I cannot find any website or article mentioning the arena since. Does anyone have any leads? I know Flately is booked in 2009, so they’d better start working! This will be massive, one of Ireland’s best indoor facilities by far.

    • #764797

      Van Dijk Architects have planning info and graphics for this arena and the carnbeg development masterplan.

    • #764798

      Ladies and Gentlemen….
      The M1 arena.

      Site is still uploading as I write this, but it pops up on google. I managed to find a backdoor by direct accessing

      There’s some pictures of the entire Carnbeg Development there.

    • #764799

      I heard the developer for this site was in fianancil difficulty does any 1 know if the projject is still going ahead?

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