The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has secured the green light for a new €50 million Anglesea Stand for the RDS arena at Ballsbridge in Dublin.
Dublin City Council has granted planning permission for the 6,775 capacity stand after its planner concluded that the new stand "would provide a modern stand facility with enhanced hospitality facilities for visitors and patrons".
No objections were lodged against the new application and a cost benefit analysis lodged with the plan estimates that the new stand will deliver an estimated additional €254 million in tourism revenues over a 25 year period.
The report from Indecon International Economic Consultants claims, overall, the development will deliver a net benefit in net present value of €68.1 million.
A key ongoing economic benefit from the new stand would be the enhanced tourism revenues for Ireland, it said. The report states that the Indecon analysis estimated these to be €546 million over 25 years.
The application involves the demolition of the existing Anglesea Stand and Anglesea Terrace and the new stand is to consist of three levels along with a two storey hospitality building.
The RDS was previously granted planning permission for a new Anglesea stand in August 2018 but that planning permission is due to lapse this coming October requiring the new application to be made.
A report lodged with the new application states that the five year permission from 2018 did not provide sufficient time needed for funding requirements due to rising costs, detailed design, procurement and build.
The new permission is the third time that the RDS has secured planning permission for a new Anglesea Stand since November 2016.
Subject to planning and funding the RDS aims to commence construction in August 2024.
When lodging the plans in June, a spokesman for the RDS stated that "the project has been fully costed and will comprise of RDS funds as well as Philanthropy and Government support."
On the need for the new stand, the spokesman said: "The existing Anglesea Stand was built in the 1930's and no longer meets modern requirements for players, performers and overall customer experience."
He added: "It will be the home of Leinster rugby and the RDS Dublin Horse Show with an ambition to provide state-of-the-art facilities to showcase the best of all sports including women's football and rugby."
The planning permission follows Leinster Rugby agreeing to a new 25 year lease for the stadium last October.
In a written Dail reply to local TD Jim O’Callaghan earlier this year, Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Thomas Byrne TD stated that €10 million Government funding under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund granted in 2020 for the RDS Main Arena Development Project remains in place.
- reporting Gordon Deegan