A MULTI-million-euro housing development, which if it goes ahead will be the biggest to date in the mid-Clare village of Sixmilebridge, was given the green light this week after an appeal to An Bord Pleanála failed.
The application for 223 homes in Sixmilebridge was granted planning permission in October 2008 by Clare County Council, a decision affirmed by An Bord Pleanála subject to revised conditions.
The original application was for 233 homes, comprising six three-bedroom detached houses, three four-bedroom detached homes, 38 three-bedroom semi-detached houses, 25 three-bedroom townhouses, 75 two-bedroom duplex units, 22 three-bedroom duplex units, 10 three-bedroom stepdown garden apartment units, 34 two-bedroom garden apartment units and 10 one-bedroom garden apartment units. However, An Bord Pleanála, as one of its conditions, scaled down the development omitting 26 housing units, bringing the total number of homes in the proposed development to 197.
The development would also involve work on road entrances, service roads, connections to existing services and significantly the construction or realignment of the proposed southern inner relief road as defined in the South Clare Economic Corridor Local Area Plan, including realignment of existing service road servicing Ashview Drive.
If the development goes ahead, it will also include car parking at ground and lower ground levels, complete with two lifts, bin stores, créche, temporary construction access, temporary advertising signage and all associated site works.
There were 17 objections to the development when it was going through the planning process with Clare County Council and the local authority granted permission last October subject to 44 conditions. This was then appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Ashview Drive Residents’ Association. The application stated that the development would share access with the existing Ashview Drive estate.
In appealing to An Bord Pleanála, the residents’ association claimed the removal of hedgerow within the site would impact on flora and fauna; that there was inadequate local infrastructure for increasing population, for example, social services, youth clubs, playgrounds, schools and public transport; that the proposal will give rise to increased car journeys because no rail link will be provided to Shannon where a large percentage of people in Sixmilebridge are employed; that there is no precedence in Sixmilebridge for development of this density; and, that there was at the time an over-supply of housing in South Clare.
If the development goes ahead, the developer will have to pay a contribution to Clare County Council which at the time of the grant of permission was €1.37 million for public infrastructure and facilities benefiting the development.
The council laid down a further condition at the time, that the developer shall lodge a bond of €1,115,000 to secure the “satisfactory completion” of the development.
Another condition of permission was that the developer pay Clare County Council €75,000 as a special contribution to the expenditure to be incurred in the provision of footpaths by the council to serve the development. The developer was also asked to pay the county council the sum of €319,872 as a special contribution to the expenditure that would be incurred by the local authority in the provision of car parking.
Excluding the bond the developer, if he goes ahead with building, will have to pay nearly €1.8 million to Clare County Council if the local authority calculations at the time of granting permission remain accurate.
Among the 28 conditions attached to the upholding of permission by An Bord Pleanála are that the developer foot the bill for providing the relief road, constructed as per details submitted to the planning authority last year.
The developer must also submit a revised car-parking plan, prior to work beginning on the project, removing 140 surface car-parking spaces.
An Bord Pleanála also required that a social infrastructure audit of all community facilities, schools in Sixmilebridge and its wider catchment be submitted to Clare County Council.
The developer Cormac Quigley, with an address care of Richard Flynn, John Shaw Auctioneers, Limerick Road, Sixmilebridge, was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.