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The Oakwood Arms expressed concern at the proximity of some of the proposed homes to its function rooms.

Hotel reservations are no bar to approval of houses


WOODHAVEN Developments has been granted planning permission for 48 houses in Smithstown, despite a number of objections, including one from a landmark local business Treacy’s Oakwood Hotel.
The group now has the green light for 48 houses, 40 of them two-storey, with eight bungalows.

In its submission to the Council, Treacy’s Oakwood said, “While not averse to development of the subject lands, the primary concern of Treacy’s Hotel Group is the potential for the proposed development to impact on the current operation of the hotel with particular reference to night time use and functions.

“The hotel function room and associated use for weddings and functions has the potential to impact on future residents via noise associated with the general use of the hotel for night time activities.”

These include the movement of people to and from the function room, music/bands from the function room and general noise from the smoking area.

“It is noted that every endeavour is made by Treacy’s to prevent noise pollution and in this regard to date there have been no issues or complaints,” the submission states.

“However the proposed development includes for residential units and associated rear gardens as close as 13.5 metres from the hotel boundary.

“The applicant has an obligation to detail how the proposed development will integrate with existing established development and associated use.

“In this instance it would be prudent for the applicant to consider an inward noise assessment with a view to establishing mitigation measures to prevent the existing use of the hotel function room impacting negatively on the amenities of future residents.”

The submission also raised questions about density and the lack of a creche in the development or the provision of a Schools Demand Needs Assessment Report.

Woodhaven was required to address concerns about noise and a number of other matters, and following the submission of the further information, Clare County Council granted planning permission, subject to 24 conditions.

In advance of construction, the developer is required to pay well over €700,000 to the Council, in order to comply with three of the conditions.

One of these states that “Prior to the commencement of development the developer/applicant shall pay a contribution of €266,352 to Clare County Council in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the Planning Authority that is provided for or intended to be provided by or on behalf of the authority in accordance with the terms of the development contribution scheme made under Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended.”

Another condition says that a Special Development Contribution is required towards road widening, upgrading and the provision of a path associated with the development.

At the moment €232,000 would be required to meet this condition, but the amount is subject to annual revision.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.