EXTRA information is being sought by Council planners on an application for 16 new homes in the village of Quin.
Abbey View Quin Property Development Ltd applied last November for the homes on a site of around one hectare which spans Maigh Dara and Ballyhannon North. The application also requests permission to amend an access road and ancillary services granted in 2017. It seeks permission too for a temporary access route from the public road at Ballyhannon North. This is for building purposes only, in order to avoid having machinery accessing the site through the existing Maigh Dara estate.
In a letter sent to the developer on January 19, planners sought Further Information (FI) on nine aspects of the plans. Given the proximity of the site to the Poulnagordon Cave and Old Domestic Buildings Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), the developer has been instructed to carry out a screening assessment to determine the potential impact.
This document must include a Bat Survey Report, as the site is located in are of “high habitat suitability” for a number of species. Further details have been sought on the access route to the site, including sight distances at the proposed junction with the Ballyhannon Road (L-7194) and the surface dressing of the temporary road.
With respect to the access route for future residents of the proposed homes, the developer is required to supply the Council with a detailed assessment of the capacity of the existing entrance to the Maigh Dara estate to accommodate additional traffic. Revised proposals on footpaths widths and visitor parking provision must also be supplied.
In addition to those concerns, the Council has taken issue with the mix of housing types provided, describing it as “inadequate” with “little discernible difference between any of the proposed homes”. In their FI request, planners said “the proposed development will fail to assimilate into the village setting”, as the designs currently stand.
For that reason, they have asked the developer to submit revised proposals. More details have been sought on surface water drainage as well as ground level across the proposed development. Further clarity has also been asked for on boundary treatments, with the developer being told that proposed 1.2m posts with concrete in-fill panels are not appropriate to the northern site of the site. A detailed landscaping plan has been requested.
In making the FI request, planners incorporated many of the points raised in five public submissions on the proposed development, as well as some of those highlighted by the government’s Development Applications Unit (DAU).
One of the letters received during the consultation phase questioned the nature of the “temporary” access route, expressing the concern that it could become a permanent right-of-way.
The observation also raised concerns about increased traffic, with the writer saying that “as the volume of traffic which this development would generate was a major concern for the present residents of the Maigh Dara estate, I fail to understand why this additional traffic should be imposed on the Ballyhannon area without traffic controls being put in place by the developer and monitored by the Council”. The use of the L-7194 by children and older people was also highlighted and safety measures requested.
A number of submissions from residents of the existing Maigh Dara estate repeated concerns over traffic and the design of the proposed homes. One of those said the proposed houses seemed to be “more suited to an urban setting” than to the village of Quin. Several of the submissions raised concerns about proposed northern boundary made up of posts with in-fill panels.
Despite the DAU asking that archaeological concerns be addressed in the FI request, the Council stopped short of asking the developer to provide an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) at this stage.
Abbey View Quin Property Development Ltd has a time-frame of six months to respond to the FI request.
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 email@example.com or telephone 065 6864146.