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Developers offer assurances over Clare village homes plan

Champion Chatter

DEVELOPERS behind plans for a major new housing estate in Tuamgraney have moved to allay concerns raised by the Council and the local community. 

Michael Pearl, who submitted plans in April for 52 homes on a site on the Dock Road, has provided the local authority with a 210-page document in response to a Further Information (FI) request. The response, which includes detailed environmental and ecological reports, is now on public display, with a further submissions period open until November 29. 

After plans 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 were submitted in spring, six objections were made. On consideration of these submissions, as well as details of the application, planners asked, in June, for FI on several aspects of the development. 

Planners raised concerns over the width and general condition of the L41341 which serves the site, as well as the existing footpath network and sight-lines at the junction with the R463. In response, agents for the developer outlined that they met the Killaloe Municipal District Engineer and both parties are now that “sufficient road width was there to provide for an improved access road”. The agent has also clarified that no consent form any third-party landowner is needed and that footpath proposals have been reviewed by the district engineer. In relation to sight distance at the junction with the R463, the developer’s agents said the matter was also discussed with the district engineer. “It was found that whilst sight lines are affected by parked cars that an improvement can be made by slightly realigning the stopping line for the cars exiting the L4131,” the agents said. 

In response to planners’ queries over public lighting, the FI response said that while the existing situation is adequate, improvements to the local road are likely to involve renewal of the lighting and its location on the side of the road with the footpath. 

Concerns raised by planners over the layout of the estate are also addressed. While the Council raised issues over the traffic safety and the potential for anti-social behaviour, the layout has since been revised. Two extra cul-de-sacs, as suggested by the Council, have been included in the plans. Efforts have been made to make sure public space is overlooked. This includes the provision of what are described as two “pocket gardens”.

Revisions have been made to the layout of parking spaces, as well as to the site layout and organisation of proposed homes. A four-phase development of the site is also proposed.

Assessment reports, including a detailed construction and environmental management plan and method statement have now been supplied. The Natura Impact Statement (NIS) has been revised by Ecofact, with extra details of the surface water management plan, drainage and the capacity of local watercourses. 

A flood risk evaluation has been conducted, “concluding that the proposed development is in Flood Zone C and a Flood Risk Assessment is not required”. Measures to minimise flash flooding and to control any downstream discharge into local watercourses have also been outlined. 

In response to planner’s concerns about bat roosts in the area, agents for the developer have submitted a landscaping plan and noted that the 12 metres of hedgerow removed with be replaced with 20 new ones. A request for a pre-connection enquiry to Irish Water has also been complied with. 

The six original public submissions on the plans, included 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 included traffic safety, flooding risk and the scale of the proposed estate.

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”.

A revised planning decision date of December 20 has been issued by Clare County Council.

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or telephone 065 6864146.

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