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Green light for Tulla homes but ‘corporate entities’ are banned from buying them

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CONDITIONAL permission has been given for a new eight-home development on the outskirts of Tulla, on a site opening onto the R462
The estate, to be made up of detached, two-storey homes, has been given the green light by the local authority, subject to 20 conditions.
Among these is the requirement for an agreement to be drawn up preventing purchase of the homes, for a specified time, by any “corporate entity”.
According to the Council, this is to ensure “adequate choice and supply of housing, including affordable housing, in the common good”.
Developers, DRM Construction, must also ensure that open spaces are “developed for, and devoted to public use”, and kept free of development.
Other conditions relate to street layout, public lighting, external finishes, the estate name, visual amenity and storm water drainage.
Under the Development Contribution Scheme, the Council has levied a charge of €44,392. A cash security bond of €40,000 has also been applied.
While the application was being assessed by Clare County Council, a number of submissions were received.
Among them was correspondence from The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Concerns were expressed by the Department’s Development Applications Unit (DAU) about the proximity of the site to a number of archaeological monuments.
The DAU urged the Council to ask the developer for 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 resident also raised concerns about excessive density, aspects of the design and possible flooding of his lands. He asked that modifications be made to the plans to address these issues.
Another local person cited concerns over the ownership of water mains in the area.
After consideration of the submissions, the Council asked DRM for Further Information (FI) on issues including site drainage, lighting, boundaries and the proximity of monuments of archaeological significance.
In response developers submitted detailed FI documentation. They stated that they had 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 submitted a report from Crusheen-based archaeological consultants, TVAS Ireland Ltd.
A desk-top study was conducted as well as testing at seven trenches. No archaeological deposits, features or artefacts were found and no further intervention was recommended.
Drawings from a landscape architect were also submitted detailing landscaping and boundary treatment.
In addition, the developers proposed to fully repair and reinforce, if required, the existing stone boundary wall along the public footpath.
The planner’s report on the development assessed a number of issues including the design of the estate.
It found the proposed homes to be in keeping with the contemporary look of the nearby St Joseph’s Secondary School. It also noted the site is well screened by mature roadside trees.
In relation to the potential impact on traffic safety of those trees, the report accepted the developer’s assessment that sight lines could be impacted by overgrowth and not by the trees themselves.
The report found that subject to clearance works taking place before the development, the proposals were acceptable.
At this point, it is not known if the development, or aspects of any of the conditions, will be the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

by Fiona McGarry

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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