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A general view of Quin village. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare village housing plan on hold amid numerous concerns 


QUESTIONS have been raised over plans for a major new housing development proposed for Quin, following a number of objections. 

Planners are seeking Further Information (FI) on proposals from Datcha Construction, to build 41 homes on a large site at Quin Gardens in the heart of the historic village. 

In January, the company applied for permission for 13 detached, 10 semi-detached and 18 terraced houses on a site of just under two hectares.

During the submissions window, five objections were received. These include a joint submission from Quin Garden Residents. The submissions have raised concerns over issues including flooding, road safety, traffic volumes and the protection of wildlife.

One document details incidents of flooding in Quin in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2017. Other submissions highlight the requirement under the County Development Plan for hydrogeological assessment for any plans on the development site. Concerns were also raised by some residents about potential overlooking of existing homes. 

In addition, The Development Applications Unit (DAU) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has flagged a number of issues.

It said that given the scale of the development, on a site of 1.87 hectares, there is a possibility of archaeological remains in the area. It asked that an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) be carried out through an FI process.

Guidelines have been provided on how the AIA should be carried out, specifying that a written report should be supplied by a qualified archaeologist to the Department.

County planners have now sought FI on nine aspects of the housing proposals. 

They had asked that the impact on the Lower River Shannon Area Special Area of Conservation (SAC), the Poulnagordon Cave SAC and the Old Domestic Buildings SAC be assessed in advance. 

The developers have also been asked to have a full bat survey undertaken at the site, which is an area of “high habitat suitability for multiple bat species”. A lighting plan, in compliance with guidelines from Bat Conservation Ireland, must also be drawn up. 

On the subject of flooding, planners have noted that the site has been subject to pluvial flooding.

They have now sought a site specific Flood Risk Assessment; details of the surface water network and an assessment of the capacity of streams and the overall drainage network in the area.

Datcha has also been asked to demonstrate how it intends to manage the river band area behind a number of the proposed homes and to show how access to a local stream will be facilitated for maintenance. 

The DAU’s concerns have been addressed through a request for an AIA to be submitted. 

Citing the terms of the Quin Settlement Plan, planners have also raised concerns about the density of the proposed development.

They noted that it is in excess of the Core Strategy guidance for residential lands in a large village setting. They also said that there is not enough variety in the house types and too many terraced homes. For those reasons, they have asked that Datcha submit revised plans to address these concerns. 

The company has also been asked to submit proposals for an upgrade of the access road from the proposed site entrance to the junction with the L-3148. 

Revised boundary designs have been sought as well as a detailed landscaping plan. A pre-connection enquiry to Irish Water in respect of of water and wastewater has also been requested. 

Councillor Alan O’Callaghan has asked to be placed as a representative on the application.

Datcha Construction has six months to respond to planners’ questions. 

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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