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County planners are seeking Further Information (FI) on a housing plan for Mountshannon.

East Clare social housing plan sent back to drawing board

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AN APPROVED housing body seeking to build 11 social houses and two apartments in Mountshannon has been sent back to the drawing board by Clare County Council.

In March, Inis Housing Association lodged plans for housing of varying size and design, and a single building containing the two apartments. The site, which is three quarters of a hectare, is close to St Caimin’s Church of Ireland on Main Street. After an initial assessment of the plans, the Council has now requested Further Information on nine aspects of the project. 

Planners said that “having regard to the scale, extent and location of the proposed development, it is possible that subsurface archaeological remains could be encountered during the construction phase” of the works. 

They have asked that Inis Housing Association to commission an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) involving test excavations. The request follows a submission on the project from The Development Applications Unit (DAU) of the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government (DHHLG).

The unit noted that “the potential cumulative impact must be considered as a significant factor as the immediately adjacent lands to the north c. 3.5 hectares (in ownership of the applicant) are noted as a site for future development and the proposed development incorporates elements to facilitate this”. 

An archaeological is required to inspect the site and to details the archeological and historical background, as well as reviewing maps and aerial photos. The DAU has stipulated that the test excavations must be carried out under licence from the DHHLG.

Where archaeological material is discovered, the archaeologist must seek further advice from the DHHLG. Once work is completed, the archaeologist must submit a written report to the DHHLG.

County planners themselves also raised queries in relation to water and wastewater services and a full set of drawings has been requested.

Information already submitted in relation to roads and access must also be supplemented, planners have said. They have asked for more details on the site entrance layout and road gradient, as well as proof that trucks will be able to turn. Additional details of signage and lining layout has also be requested.

The developers have been asked to revise road surfacing proposals on the main access road to show that parking provision meets the required standards. The width of proposed footpaths must be increased to 1.8m and further details of the management of surface water must also be provided.

More information has been requested on surfacing materials throughout the development. In addition, floor plans for all units have been requested as well as a revised site layout plan which would incorporate a gate for the garden of the proposed ground floor apartment.

Full details of boundary treatments and landscaping have also been sought. Inis Housing now has six months to provide the requested material to Clare County Council. 

There were no objections to the development and representations have been made by Senators Timmy Dooley and Róisín Garvey, as well as Deputy Cathal Crowe. 

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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