Council asked to hand over Fairhill pitches for Irish school

Fairhill Cookstown.INMM2214-383
Fairhill Cookstown.INMM2214-383

Mid Ulster District Council is considering handing over the playing fields on Fairhill Road to the Education Authority for an Irish language school.

The request was put to the council’s policy & resources committee at its April 7 meeting.

It is understood that a number of local football teams who use the site are against the move, which means they would have to relocate to MUSA.

At the same meeting, the committee was also asked to consider leasing the pitches at Beechway to Cookstown Youth Football Club, who also train at MUSA.

But in relation to Fairhill, presentations have been made to Mid Ulster Development Committee from groups looking to turn the pitches into a cycling track and skateboard park.

In the report from policy & resources, it was said the council solicitor confirmed that “there are no restrictive covenants in place in respect of the Fairhill pitches”.

It also said Policy OS1 within PPS8 protects open space, but can allow development where it will bring substantial community benefit that would decisively outweigh its loss - and a school would fall under this clause.

Any application for a school would need to be assessed by the planning department for its impacts on transportation, infrastructure, ecology, character of the area and neighbouring amenity before being given the go-ahead.