Clare County Council has claimed some of the further information provided by the developers of a state-of-the-art €10 million nursing home in Westbury is “inadequate”.
Athlunkard Partnership effectively has another four months to fully address a number of concerns about the proposed demolition of outhouses and a derelict dwelling as part of its plans to construct 110 single en-suite bedrooms, day living space, kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms and services, car parking, landscaping and connection to existing foul drainage near St Nicholas Church, Westbury.
On February 9 last, the planning department expressed a number of concerns about the application lodged by the partnership, which comprises of six Mid-West businessmen and made 13 specific requests for further information and revised plans.
The authority expressed its opposition to the demolition of a detached one and half-storey four-bay, gabled, stone-built, building of the mid-19th century on site as part of the overall development.
Having regard to the reasonable structural condition and architectural and vernacular merit of the existing dwelling and its contribution to the setting, the authority considered its demolition unwarranted.
In fact, the authority has asked the developers for proposals to retain, repair and refurbish the structure and to incorporate it into the overall development.
On behalf of the developers, West Limerick planning consultant Ballyvoughan Designs stated in its official response to the request for further information that its representatives had met the council’s conservation officer, Dick Cronin, and had agreed, in principle, that the dwelling would be retained and utilised as the main entrance point for the development, the floor layout would be redesigned and provided its proposal to retain the dwelling with modifications and extension.
However, the authority has requested the developers to submit a “complete and comprehensive response” to the issue concerning the building and warned the application would be deemed withdrawn, if this request is not complied within six months from the date of the initial request.
A Traffic and Transport Assessment provided by CARA Traffic Solutions for the developers predicted that the junction at the Westbury traffic lights would be operating at 68% during morning peak hour and 81.3% capacity during evening rush hour. It also claimed that queuing and delays for all traffic movements on the public roadway would be minimal.
In order to cater for and encourage staff and visitor trips to and from the development by bicycle, CARA proposed secure and covered cycle parking facilities should be provided within the development in close proximity to the main access points into the buildings.
Ballyvoughan Designs stated the design standards set out in the “Building for Everyone” document have been adhered to and in some instances, exceeded in terms of corridor widths, bathroom accessibility, bedroom size, layout and functionality.
Four extra pedestrian crossings have been added to allow full access from the regional Corbally to Broadford road to the site.
Having discussed the road network layout with assistant chief fire officer, Denis O’Connell, Ballyvoughan Designs stated that he had expressed his satisfaction with the road network for emergency vehicles.
The planning consultant confirmed that the proposed nursing home wouldn’t accommodate a ‘morgue’ but it would have an oratory, which could be utilised for removals and for multi-denominations ceremonies and masses.
“The proposal for a bored well on site was to allow for all non-drinking water to be sourced from an on-site well and utilise the public mains for drinking water, the proposed well would be tested for quantity and quality to ensure its viability prior to commission.
“The information on the existing drainage and sewerage network have been obtained from public record. This data has been modelled to identify the capacity of the network, the volumes proposed from this application have been introduced into the model to access the extra loading on the system.
“The network, as constructed, is sufficient to accommodate the foul and storm additional volumes,” the consultants stated.
The development has prompted objections from the Clare branch of An Taisce and residents who have complained about its impact on traffic, the sewerage network, the road network and its overall suitability for a residential area.