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Plans for 36 new homes on Church Road, Tulla, have been turned down by Clare County Council.

Permission denied for housing estate in Clare town

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A LACK of pedestrian links to Tulla’s Main Street has led to a plans for a major new housing estate being turned down by Clare County Council. 

After an assessment of proposals for 36 new homes on a site on Church Road, the local authority has refused permission for two reasons. Planners said the estate would be “deficient in terms of its pedestrian provision” and that its design would damage visual amenities locally. 

In May, Woodhaven Developments lodged plans for the estate on a prominent greenfield site, close to Glebe House. During the public consultation phase, four submissions were made. These expressed concerns over the proposed boundary of the estate, as well as potential pedestrian access onto lands belonging to a third party. 

On foot of these submissions, and separate concerns of their own, planners requested Further Information (FI) on a number of aspects of the development, including the proposed connectivity to Tulla’s Main Street. The Council also pointed out that while the site is zoned for residential development, there is a specific site objective, in the Tulla Settlement Plan, that connectivity be created into the town centre.

Revised site layout plans were requested, amid concerns over “piecemeal development”. At the request of the Developments Assessment Unit (DAU) of the Department of Housing, an Archaeological Impact Assessment was also sought.

Responding to these queries, Woodhaven submitted a detailed FI response last month. This included a new Civil Engineering Infrastructure Report and some revised designs. 

The company noted that their plans were submitted as part of a master plan for the site and the surrounding zoned lands”. The company pointed out that the site has been zoned since 2017, while other sites in the village have been de-zoned”.

Woodhaven outlined that the master plan aims to create a vibrant neighbourhood with mixed tenure. The company added that the layout proposed two future pedestrian/cycle access and egress points linking to the existing laneway to Main Street. Revised drawings aimed to address concerns about the proposed estates layout.

Existing mature trees on the site were incorporated into the open space areas in the designs, and changes were made to the proposed vehicle turning area and off-street parking in a section of the development. 

Despite Woodhaven’s request for planning permission, to respond to “the large demand for housing in the Tulla and general east Clare area”, the Council has ruled against the development. 

Refusing permission, planners said that it is the objective of the Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023 that developments at the site “must provide pedestrian linkages to the existing Main Street”.

“Having regard to the configuration of the development site relative to the roadway to the north, the exclusion of the lands between the site and the roadway to the north from the development proposal, the overall development layout in terms of pedestrian linkages and provision, it is considered that the proposal fails to provide adequate pedestrian connectivity to Tulla town centre and does not therefore comply with the site-specific development objective for the land,” planners stated.

They added that “having regard to the characteristics of the development site which includes numerous mature trees and the configuration of the site relative to glebe house [sic] to the east, the roadway to the north, undeveloped lands to the west and existing development to the south, it is considered that the proposed development by reason of its substandard layout, building form and design, does not adequately respond to the specified characteristics of the site or the pattern of development in the vicinity, and would be an inappropriate form of development at this location”. 

The Planning Authority concluded that “the proposed development would contravene the site-specific development objective for the subject lands, would be injurious to the visual amenities of the area and would be deficient in terms of its pedestrian provision”.

Planning permission was refused on October 26 and the developer now has four weeks from that date to lodge an appeal, should they choose to do so. 

Fiona McGarry
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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 The University of 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.

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 The University of 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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