Case Study: EIA for Football Stadium Development

By Peter O’Connoll –

Football Stadium Development
(Click image to view in full scale) Football Stadium Development

The Proposed Development is a Football Stadium 74,557m² in area equipped with 40,000 seats to host Irish Soccer Internationals Matches, situated in Palmerston Park, Rathmines, Co. Dublin.

There are no Special Protected Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, Integrated Pollution Prevention Control or Active Waste Water Facilities in the Study Area and therefore they don’t impact on any decision regarding the spatial analysis of the Proposed Development.

Regards the impact on people this Development proposes to build on partly a green area which is currently a park while it will also encroach on residential housing area necessitating the demolishing of an area of housing to make way for the development.

There are two colleges as well as one school in the 500 metre buffer zone which are likely to be impacted significantly during the construction phase where heavy machinery, possible road closures and increased traffic will ensue causing increased noise and an increased health and safety risk. After completion of the project most international matches are held at evenings and weekends and are unlikely to significantly encroach during school hours however extracurricular activities and other uses of schools such as voting or meetings may be impacted as well as increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.

The proposed Development is situated in an area of mainly moderate Groundwater Vulnerability while at the North-West of the site there is low groundwater vulnerability. However within the 500m buffer there is an extent of both high and extreme groundwater vulnerability while there are is also a patch mapped as “rock at or near the surface” which is at increased risk of any pollution or change.

There is a river within the buffer zone along while there are also three Flood Risk Points which may be impacted by the Proposed Development.

It is important to note that there is a National Monument on the site, a Castle, which is protected by law and construction is forbidden within 100m (see buffer). There are also a further 8 national monuments within 500m buffer of the Proposed Development including two bridges, an Enclosure, a protected historical House, a watermill and another castle.

In reality in there is no area suitable for a stadium of this magnitude in the Study Area – It is a built up residential area and the already sparse green areas will be further reduced while local people will be significantly impacted during construction and afterwards including purchase and demolishing of houses. Apart from buses there is no significant other transport or parking services to accommodate such a large number of people on match day. The project is also not feasible in the current economic climate while the benefits are not substantial particularly with a recently developed similar size stadium already in place in the city currently satisfying such needs adequately. Kenilworth Square to the West is a more suitable location and a solution may be to build a significantly smaller stadium, no greater than 5,000 – 10,000 seats. This is nearer to transport routes such as the National Road shown in green. There is only one National Monument, a Windmill, located over 400m from the site. There is less flood risk with one flood risk point within a 500m radius of the most suitable area. There are three schools however which will be affected during construction and afterwards however the impact is reduced somewhat by the being nearer to National Road arteries reducing traffic. This area of most suitable location is situated in mostly moderate groundwater vulnerability while there is a lesser extent in area of High and Extreme groundwater vulnerability compared to the current Proposed Development site.