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Major housing development proposed for east Clare village


PLANS for a significant housing development in the village of Tuamgraney are being considered by the local authority.

Developer Michael Pearl is proposing to demolish an existing pumping station and build 52 houses in a mix of bungalows and two-storey units, on a 3.96 hectare site on the Dock Road.

A detailed planning report has been submitted by Hassett Leyden and Associates outlining plans for six four-bedroom detached houses; 22 three-bedroom, semi-detached houses; 14 two-bedroom semi-detached houses; and ten two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows. The average housing density will be 13.13 units per hectare.

The application outlines that Tuamgraney is designated a ‘service town’ under the Mid-West Regional Planning Guidelines 2010-2022.

Under the current County Development Plan, the site has three zoning types – residential, low-density residential and open space.

In terms of the design concept, a mix of house types is proposed “to achieve a good mix and varied appearance of buildings”.

A “large quiet open space at the back of the site” will provide a “useable and enjoyable recreational area”, the application says.

Homes will have large back gardens while the primary facades will have “traditional window opening and proportions in keeping with rural housing”.

The planning report outlines that the context of the site has been carefully considered and it notes that the former Finsa site on the edge of the historic village has been identified as “an opportunity site for employment and enterprise purposes”.

The document also highlights the strong level of connectivity from the Dock Road to Scariff and Ennis.

The application states that the objective is to provide a residential scheme “that is well connected and integrated with its built and natural surroundings, and which has been designed to be attractive and safe for proposed residents and members of the exiting community”.

On the site, which has 174m of road frontage and is located to the east of the village, there is currently only one small building on the site, an unused pumping station.

The planning report proposes to retain many of the existing trees, but states that some will need to be removed.

“The aim of the proposal is to create an inclusive residential community that respects the existing character of the village of Tuamgraney, but acknowledges the sustainable growth of the village with an appropriate development for a fully serviced residentially zoned site,” the application states.

“The proposal seeks to respect the existing residential development pattern of the area by aligning the new development slightly set back from the public road for privacy and respecting the existing houses on the adjacent sites.

“The proposal will be connected to the locality by the use of materials sympathetic with the locality and adapting to the location of the existing streetscape.”

The application also notes that a plan was lodged in 2008 to demolish the pumping station and build 89 homes on the same site.

Conditional planning was granted at that time, despite a number of objections. The grant of permission was overturned on appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Along with the blueprints, a Natura Impact Statement (NIS), a Bio-Diversity Assessment Report, a Screening for Environmental Impact Assessment Report, a desk-based Archaeological Assessment Report, a Screening for Appropriate Assessment Report and a Lighting Report have been submitted to planners. A Part V approval letter has also been supplied.

An indicative decision date of June 15 has been given by Clare County Council.

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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