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Stumbling block for Scariff social homes scheme

A MULTI-MILLION euro social housing development for Scariff has hit a hitch, after questions were raised over its proposed density by the Department of Housing.

Councillor Pat Burke sought an update on the status of the project at the recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District. Director of Services Ann Haugh, who also heads up the Social Development Directorate, outlined the current situation with the planned development at Ballyminogue.

“We have encountered a slight delay,” she told the meeting. “We made a Stage 2 application to the department, but it was return to us not approved. We have had to go back and look at densities and other issues. There are certain aspects of the plans which will have to be reviewed.”

Councillor Burke asked if any questions had been raised of the number of units in the estate, which was to 18 under the original plans. “Reducing the density and the overall footprint of the development might be conditions that need to be met to address the department’s concerns,” Ms Haugh replied. “There is a balance to be struck. We are now in fairly positive consultations with the department with a view to resubmitting the Stage 2 application. We are working closely with the department on an informal basis.”

Councillor Burke expressed his concern at the news. “It’s a pity that this stumbling block has been reached,” he said. “We are all aware of the housing shortage.”

Cathaoirleach, Councillor Pat Hayes supported this view. “There’s real disappointment over this delay,” he said, “especially with the fact that the proposed car park might be taken out of the plans. I’m looking forward to a briefing on the new revised lay-out of the development.”

In January of last year, proposals for the €3.9m social housing development were formally unveiled. It was originally envisaged that the mix of two, three and four-bed homes would be constructed by the end of 2021.

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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