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TII among objectors to west Clare tourism proposal

DOZENS of submissions have now been made to Clare County Council on controversial plans for a serviced caravan/motorhome park at Kilkee Road, Doonbeg, writes Owen Ryan.

By last Friday three county councillors – Gerry Flynn, Ian Lynch and Cillian Murphy – had made submissions on it, along with one from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Others to voice concern include Doonbeg National School’s board of management, Doonbeg Community Development and Doonbeg Residents Group.

The submission made by TII said the proposal is not in compliance with its requirements.

“The Authority has examined the above application and considers that it is at variance with official policy in relation to control of development on/affecting national roads as outlined in the DoECLG Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012).

“The proposed development by itself, or by the precedent which a grant of permission for it would set, would adversely affect the operation and safety of the national road network”.

In his submission Councillor Murphy stated, “The residents of Dun na Mara have a reasonable expectation of enjoying their homes without having significant volumes of traffic accessing the development immediately in across their front door.

“This access/egress point is also immediately adjacent to one of the busiest junctions in the village.”

He noted that access/egress to the school, the church, the community centre, Dun na Mara estate – with the two new social housing units already constructed and eight in progress – all combined at this location.

It created, he stated, a very busy junction that caters to children, families and many of the older members of the local community.

“Adding in the traffic from 37 static mobile home bays, all of whom will have two cars, as well as the motorhomes and the bed and breakfast traffic, along with the existing traffic associated with the residents of Killard and the visitors to the pier and the White Strand will undoubtedly overload the junction and create a very hazardous space in the heart of the village,” wrote Councillor Murphy.

“I would also respectfully submit the traffic volumes proposed by the developers is significantly underestimated and at best requires significant further study.”

He also raised concerns about the impact on waste water treatment, noise, and visual impact.

Councillor Gerry Flynn also raised questions about traffic and the impact on treatment facilities, while he queried the direction of the development of Clare’s coast.

“The coastal landscape from North Clare to West Clare has been seriously impacted due to the concentration of temporary dwellings.

“I believe the beautiful tourist attractions along the Clare coast have been seriously damaged by the over development of mobile homes and caravan parks that do very little for local communities.”

At the time of writing the submission from Councillor Lynch could not be viewed through the County Council’s website.

The objection from the Doonbeg National School board of management raised a number of concerns, including one in relation to safety.

“The presence of large caravans and cars will access the proposed site from either the busy N67 Kilkee Road (speed limit 100km until after the proposed site entrance) on which parents take a turning for the school or travel just past the school entrance to enter into and exit the Dun na Mara estate.

“(This) will increase the likelihood of serious road accidents, the threat of which concerns the board of management and the school’s parents.

“To this end, those parents who live in the estate contacted the school to voice their concerns at the potential danger to their children whilst playing on the green areas in the estate or just simply walking to and from the school.”

The school also claimed Doonbeg’s “tranquil atmosphere” is what draws visitors to the area and there is no requirement for developments of such a scale.

A 25-page objection was lodged by Doonbeg Residents’ Group. It raised numerous concerns and also stated the proposed development was not within the red line boundary described on the site layout drawing.

“This prescribed requirement in combination with the traffic safety issue is enough to warrant the refusal of this application,” the group noted.

The local development organisation wrote, “Doonbeg Community Development Limited, while in favour of development, wish to make the following observations with regard to the above planning application.

“In May 2021 Irish Water announced that Doonbeg wastewater treatment plant was selected for upgrade as part of the Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme. Any new major developments need to be built in conjunction with water mains replacement and proposed upgrade of sewer system.

“Road safety is a huge concern given that the proposed access and egress for the above planning application is through Dun na Mara which is an established residential estate and in close proximity to both Doonbeg National School and Naíonra Dun Beag Pre School.”

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