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Planners poised to refuse demolition of derelict GAA social club in Keady

The former Keady GAA social club

Planners are poised to refuse permission for the demolition of a former GAA social club in Keady – despite arguments that the derelict building has long been an eyesore in the town.

The building at Market Street had been earmarked for demolition with the construction of two new homes in its place.

But a planning official has recommended the proposal be turned down.

The application is contained on the list of delegation which goes to councillors with that professional opinion.

However, a councillor can still ask for the application to be referred to next month’s meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s planning and regulatory services committee.

It would seem likely that the decision would be appealed.

Plans were submitted by Holmes & Doran Ltd on behalf of Malachy McClelland for the demolition of “existing derelict social club building and erection of two dwelling houses”.

The proposal was first lodged last October and it was re-advertised just last month.

Objections to the plan had been forwarded to planning officials from two neighbouring addresses with an issue of right of way raised.

TransportNI said it had no objection to the work proceeding, and the council’s own environmental health department had “no objection in principle”.

The run-down building has been a fixture of Market Street in the town for years but has lain vacant since the club moved to a purpose-built £500,000 facility at the opposite end of the town a number of years ago.

The applicant’s surveyor had written to the council early last month describing the property as being in a “very poor state of repair” and an “eye sore on Market Street”.

The surveyor argued that “anything in its place can only be seen as a planning gain”.

And they maintained: “There is a high demand for housing in the Keady area and, although the possibility for a commercial unit was investigated, it was decided, given the fact that half the existing commercial units in Keady lie derelict, there wasn’t likely to be much demand.”

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