HomeBussinessResidents and stud farm oppose plans for search-and-rescue base at Dublin’s Weston...

Residents and stud farm oppose plans for search-and-rescue base at Dublin’s Weston Airport


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Weston Aviation Academy Ltd has lodged the plans for the SAR base at the airport near Lucan.

The base is to be used by the recently appointed new operators of the State’s SAR service, Bristow Ireland Ltd.

A planning report lodged with the application stated it was intended that the SAR base at Weston Airport will be one of four new bases and will be operational from July 1 next year.

The base is to comprise a hangar with capacity for two helicopters along with supporting infrastructure.

According to the planning report by KPMG Future Analytics, this “will further enhance the commercial viability and effectiveness of the airport with a specialised services offering that will not result in any intensification or material change to the existing airport”.

The planning report stated the development “represents an efficient use of land within a suitable location”.

The proposed facility is likely to accommodate 550 to 580 flights a year.

Weston Airport

However, stud farm operator Tony Doyle has told South Dublin County Council planners that the prospect of night-time fights at Weston Airport “will have a drastic consequence for us, our animals and the people looking after them”.

Mr Doyle has told the council that if any SAR helicopter flew over his property at Coneyboro Stud Farm, Celbridge, Co Kildare, at night “while my horses are lying down/resting in the paddocks or being attended to in the stables, the consequences for us and our animals are insurmountable and will lead to fatalities on our farm”.

The Laraghcon Residents Association, on behalf of 340 homes, has asked the council to refuse planning permission as the proposal “is contrary to our climate change strategy”.

In another objection, Gerard and Catriona Flannery stated they were “saddened and despondent” that the SAR service would be proposed for a site so close to residential communities.

In response to a council request for further information, consultants for the applicants stated it was to be expected that no adverse impact on horses at the nearby study farm would occur arising from the operation of the SAR base.

The report stated that flight paths were proposed to ensure that no SAR helicopter would pass over the stud arm.

A council decision on the application is expected shortly.

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