Home » Breaking News » Ambiguity over density raised in application for homes in Tulla
“This lack of uniformity of message creates uncertainty for the home builder, and ultimately leads to higher land holding costs for the applicant while they navigate through the system."

Ambiguity over density raised in application for homes in Tulla


HOUSING planned for Tulla will create 42 construction jobs and bring an investment of around €3.75 million to the East Clare town, if given the green light.

The assertion was made by Woodhaven Developments which is looking to build 36 new homes on a greenfield site, close to Glebe House, on Church Road.

The company, which has already secured permission for 17 houses and a commercial centre nearby, on the site of the former St Joseph’s Secondary School, told planners the development will help to meet housing need in Tulla.

The site is just over 1.5 hectares and the housing density proposed equates to 23 homes per hectare.

Woodhaven has noted that, on sites like this, the guidelines would recommend a range of 30 to 50 units per hectare. The company has argued that the location of the site on the edge of town, inside the speed limit, means a lower-density estate should be allowed.

The application has also warned that a lack of a standardised national policy means developers are being forced to build higher density developments, which create higher costs and, in turn, make homes less affordable.

“Anecdotal evidence suggest that local authorities might refuse planning on grounds of excessive density, while ABP [An Bord Pleanála] might refuse planning on the same site due to there being insufficient density – or vice versa,” the application stated.

“This lack of uniformity of message creates uncertainty for the home builder, and ultimately leads to higher land holding costs for the applicant while they navigate through the system.

“These additional costs are then passed on to the home buyer – otherwise they act as a deterrent from developing the site in the first place, thereby further restricting the supply of housing in the market.”

In terms of design approach, Woodhaven proposes to focus on “neighbourhood development”.

The proposed estate will have four home zones: “spaces which give a sense of community and ownership to the owners of the houses which surround them”.

The company said this approach “aims to reinforce Tulla town centre as the key location for living, working, leisure, shopping, and service provision”.

Social housing will form an element of the estate, under Part V of the Planning and Development Act.

Woodhaven has also said that homes for older people will be included, with ten two-bedroom properties, which have been specifically sought by Clare County Council in response to housing need.

The layout of the development will follow existing field boundaries and the developers have said that a significant amount of existing hedgerow and trees will be preserved.

The homes are described as “relatively large in design” and most of them are three-bed semi-detached units.

“We have found this house type allows for lifetime living within the dwelling house,” Woodhaven said.

Other house types include two-storey detached; semi-detached and three-bedroom bungalows. Some of the two-bed units included have roof space with potential for conversion into a third bedroom, if the need arises.

Planners have given June 28 as an indicative decision date.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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