PERMISSION has been granted for the creation of four serviced sites in Quin, with outline permission for four detached homes.
Concerns had been raised by local authority planners over a number of aspects of the proposals. Developer, Jimal Investments, addressed these in a Further Information (FI) submission made at the end of last year, and the green light has now been given subject to 21 conditions.
Among these are controls on the height of any future dwellings on the sites. Conditions relating to external finishes, landscaping, the name any future residential development and public lighting have also been applied.
Outline permission applies for a period of three years and the Council has stipulated that any residential development granted within that time must be subject to a development contribution and the lodgement of a cash bond.
Plans for the creation of the sites in Quingardens were lodged last September, with the developer telling the Council that they would involve demolishing an existing house and store. Outline permission to construct four houses and garages on the serviced sites was also sought.
No objections were made. Despite that, an FI request from the Council raised “serious concerns” over arrangements for the discharge of storm water.
It asked the developer for calculations of potential storm water rates, including peak flow at times of severe weather. It also asked the company for the results of tests to demonstrate suitable conditions to discharge the likely surface water volumes to ground, or to provide revised surface water management plans, clearly identifying the watercourse or public storm drain and the proposed connectivity to it.
The Council noted that the site is located within the foraging range of bats roosting at the Poulnagordon Cave Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Old Domestic Buildings, Keevagh SAC.
It said that the existing buildings on the Quingardens site could have the potential for use as bat roost locations. Accordingly, planners instructed the developer to engage an ecologist to provide a report following an inspection of the buildings.
In addition, the developers were required to provide details of the proposed roadway and area to be maintained as open space; plans were also requested for connecting the proposed new footpath to the existing network.
Responding to the FI request, Jimal Investments provided a storm water design and report; storm water soakway details and a revised site services layout.
The company also confirmed that it had discussed its proposals with the Killaloe Municipal District engineer and made him aware of lands outside the company’s ownership. It noted that this is also an access road to two properties and was recently surfaced in tarmac.
“As pedestrians can continue across this tarmac to link with the footpath at the Maigh Dara access road without stepping out on the main site road, the footpath as proposed is considered acceptable,” the FI response had stated.
In respect of the concerns over forage for bats, an ecologist’s report found that the two buildings to be demolished “do not support features that would make the buildings attractive to bats”.
The report stated that their temperature, drafts and modern roofing material meant that bats would not choose to roots there. “…the two buildings… do not support roosting bats due to construction, access and ambient temperature challenges and roofing types,” it added.
No evidence of bat roosting behaviour was observed during the inspection. It is not known, at this stage, if any of the planning conditions will be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 065 6864146.