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Clare village housing plan dealt a setback

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PLANS for a significant housing development for Tuamgraney have hit a hitch, with the local authority asking for clarity on a number of elements of the proposals.

After a total of six objections to plans for 52 new homes on a 3.96 hectare site on the Dock Road, the planning authority has asked for clarification on several aspects of the application. The plans were lodged by Michael Pearl in April, seeking permission for six four-bedroom detached houses; 22 three-bedroom, semi-detached houses; 14 two-bedroom semi-detached houses; and ten two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows.

The first concern raised in the Further Information (FI) request is over the road that serves the site. Planners have said that they consider that the L41341 which is narrow and poorly surfaced, to be unsuited in its current condition to provide safe access to a multi-unit residential development”.

The developer has been asked to consult the Killaloe area engineer to discuss how a minimum road width of 5.5 metres can be achieved from the entrance of the proposed estate to the junction with the R463. Details of plans to connect the development to the existing footpath network in Tuamgraney have also been sought.

Clarity has been requested on sightlines and stopping distances at the junction with the R463, as well as details of any improvement works that might be necessary. Details of any extension of the public lighting on the L41341 have also been requested. 

Concerns have been raised by planners about the internal layout of the proposed estate. They have asked that this be revised to ensure lower traffic speeds and greater safety.

This would involve a revised layout based on a series of cul-de-sacs”. Planners have also recommended revising the layout of open spaces to cater for all future occupiers of the development; as well as balancing the distribution of house types.

Better integration of a number of housing units has also been sought, as well as revisions to ensure that a proposed laneway is adequately overlooked. Measures have also been sought to avoid the potential for a sloped area behind some of the homes to attract anti-social behaviour. 

Planners have asked for a detailed Construction and Environmental Management Plan and Method Statement, as well as further details on who conducted a number of existing reports, including a Natural Impact Statement.

A Surface Water Management Plan has also been requested, as well as revised boundary treatment and landscape proposals to ensure that two known bat roosts are preserved. 

The FI request also asks that a pre-connection enquiry to Irish Water be made and the outcome to be submitted to planners. 

The original planning application outlined that the context of the site had been carefully considered and it noted that the former Finsa site on the edge of the historic village has been identified as”an opportunity site for employment and enterprise purposes”.

The document also noted the strong level of connectivity from the Dock Road to Scariff and Ennis. The application stated that the objective is to provide a residential scheme “that is well connected and integrated with its built and natural surroundings, and which has been designed to be attractive and safe for proposed residents and members of the exiting community”. 

Despite those assurances, six submissions were made to planners, including one from a group called ‘Reddans Quay Residents’. That document raised objects over the principle of development; over-development; housing design and layout; traffic and pedestrian safety; flooding; and environmental impact.

The submission described Tuamgraney as having a small close knit community of residents” and said that large scale developments had not been built, despite the fact that some have had the benefit of planing permission.

The residentsobjection contended that the proposed estate will have a severe impact upon the physical and social fabric of the village”.

The document expressed the fear that Tuamgraney could become a commuter village” with residents in the development travelling for work, mainly to Limerick. Five other objections were made by individual residents and families. Concerns raised including traffic safety, flooding risk and the scale of the proposed estate.

The developer now has six months to provide the required information to the planning authority. 

Fiona McGarry
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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 The University of 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.

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 The University of 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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