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Developers provide reassurance over proposed Clare homes

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DEVELOPERS of a proposed housing estate for Tulla have offered a number of reassurances to the Council following concerns about site drainage, boundaries and the proximity of monuments of archaeological significance.
DRM Construction was asked to provide further information (FI) to Clare County Council after submissions, including one from a government department, which flagged concerns about the presence of monuments in the area, including an ancient cooking pit, or fulacht fiadh, dating back to the Bronze Age.
The company applied, at the end of last year, to build eight detached two-storey homes on a site opening onto the R462. The lands is zoned for low-density residential housing under the current county development plan.
Among the submissions on the project was one from The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Concerns were expressed by the Development Applications Unit (DAU) about the proximity of archaeological monuments. The DAU urged planners to seek FI, including a professional archaeological assessment.
A submission was also made by a resident who said that he welcomed the housing, but was concerned about the rear windows of the proposed homes overlooking his property.
The submission also raised concerns about excessive density, aspects of the design and possible flooding of his lands. The document asked that modifications be made to the plans to address these issues.
Agents for the developers have now submitted the FI requested. The document stated that they have investigated concerns over drainage, discussed them with council engineers and designed measures to manage all surface water run-off. In relation to archaeological concerns, DRM have submitted a report from Crusheen-based consultant archaeological consultants, TVAS Ireland Ltd. In response to the Council’s request for more details on landscaping and boundary treatment, the developers have submitted drawings from a landscape architect.
They have also proposed to full repair and reinforce, if required, the existing stone boundary wall along the public footpath.
Further details on public lighting have been submitted as well as an assurance on management of trees to ensure safe sight distances at the entrance to the proposed estate.
The developers have also taken account of the council’s request that charging points for Electric Vehicles (EVs) be installed.
In respect of concerns raised by the Council over the design of the homes, DRM said the plans offered an opportunity to create a distinct identity for the development. They noted that the nearby St Joseph’s Secondary School has a contemporary design.
“We would respectfully request that you permit the designs as proposed,” the FI response said. However, it added that if the Council feels strongly about the matter, the authority had the option of asking for revised elevation designs as a condition of planning permission.
On the issue of potential overlooking of existing property, DRM noted that the distance is greater than the minimum outlined in the County Development Plan. The company did, however, indicate that, if the Council considers it necessary, they have proposals on the location of rear windows of three of the proposed homes.
County planners are continuing to assess the planning application.

by Fiona McGarry

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