PLANNING approval has been granted for a temporary ice-skating rink to be constructed in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle.
The rink, which will operate for a couple of months in the summer and in the winter, will be located on the east side of the castle, to the east of the playground. It is hoped that the amenity will have eight employees working there, as soon as it is up and runnning.
The structure will have a total floor area of 920sqm, comprising the ice rink, a seating/viewing area, skate changing facility and toilets. It will be a ‘clearspan’ marquee in white/ivory colour.
The tank will be raised 225mm above ground on mini-stands, and will not require foundations. The rink will only be in use for six months of the year – three in summer and three in winter.
The planning application was made by TBEM Partnership. The amount of the development contribution payable to Kilkenny Borough Council is €13,800.
Local Councillor Andrew McGuinness has welcomed the council’s decision to approve the amenity.
“Im delighted to see such a positive development on the grounds of Kilkenny Castle,” he said.
“Not only will it be a fantastic amenity to be enjoyed by local people, it will also be a great attraction for visitors to the city and it will create a lot more footfall throughout the city for the Christmas period.”
However, the Fianna Fail councillor said it was now time for the local authorities to enter into negotiations with the OPW with regard to the development of a Skate Park on the Castle grounds.
“The council seem to have pre-empted a negative response but I believe it is worth a try, especially now that an ice rink has been granted permission,” he said.
“Kilkenny teenagers have been crying out for a skateboard park for years and as a local authority we need to do all we can to provide it.”
Cllr McGuinness has tabled a notice of motion on the agenda for the next borough council meeting, along with Fianna Fail Councillors Joe Reidy and Joe Malone, requesting that Kilkenny Borough Council pursue the idea of developing a skatepark facility at Kilkenny Castle.