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Deputy Cathal Crowe (FF)

Residents object to Westbury house plans

Former Defence Minister Willie O’Dea and Councillor Cathal Crowe have joined 125 residents to oppose the completion of 22 residential units and site works in Westbury.

The largest housing estate in South-East Clare could get even bigger if Clare County Council grants planning permission for an extra 22 houses.

According to Punch Consulting Engineers, planning permission for this development was granted under a previous application, which has now expired. Sixteen of the proposed units are located in the proposed cul-de-sac adjacent to No. 87 Bruachlan, while the remaining six units are situated in another cul-de-sac between properties 24 and 31.

A comprehensive objection signed by 127 people was drafted by Councillor Crowe, following a recent public meeting he organised in Larkin’s Pub, Parteen to oppose this “NAMA planning application”.

According to the objection, Westbury is a development of about 1,000 housing units, yet there is only a single entrance into the estate, which results in a “serious traffic problem” with large tailbacks exiting the estate during weekday mornings.

It stated the main regional road that the Westbury estate exits on to is “notorious” for traffic congestion and is frequently mentioned on AA Roadwatch’s national bulletins. From 7:50am each morning, the objection noted there is bumper-to-bumper traffic from Athlunkard Street in Limerick City right out to Larkin’s Cross in Parteen.

It warned further traffic on the road would only serve to exacerbate an already dangerous situation.

According to the objection, Westbury cannot cope with more traffic on its internal roads, as there is a long-standing problem with speeding cars on these roads.

Expressing concern about the lack of amenities, the submission argued Westbury residents need more open space and less development.
It warned the development of more housing units would, “in our opinion, increase the propensity to flood lands in the locality and would add a further burden on the mains pipe work that is already struggling to supply all existing houses in the estate”.

However, according to Punch Consulting Engineers, a precautionary approach was undertaken for this development and a detailed flood risk assessment was undertaken to assess the local flood risk to the site and a quantitative appraisal of potential flood risk.

It concluded that compensatory flood storage could be omitted from the plans, as flood embankments are above the 100-year flood level and the volume of storage lost is considered “negligible” in the context of the flows in the Shannon.

The engineers noted part of the substructure consisting of pile foundations, ground beams and concrete floor slabs were constructed before the expiration of the planning permission. While acknowledging the regional road has been reported as congested, the engineers concluded the additional trips generated by the proposed development “is not likely to be significant”.


Dan Danaher

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