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Clare County Council has approved the proposed 52-home development for Tuamgraney.

Village homes plan approved despite ‘population explosion’ fears

A LARGE-scale housing development has been given the green light for the village of Tuamgraney, despite concerns raised by a number of local residents.

Conditional permission for the 52 homes on Dock Road, has been granted by Clare County Council in the face of fears about a “population explosion” which would turn Tuamgraney into a commuter village.

The planning application was submitted by Michael Pearl in April of last year. The proposals generated six objections, including one from a group called ‘Reddan’s Quay Residents’.

That submission raised objections to the principle of development; over-development; housing design and layout; traffic and pedestrian safety; flooding; and environmental impact.

The submission described Tuamgraney as having “a small close knit community of residents” and said large-scale developments had not been built, despite the fact that some have had the benefit of planing permission.

The objection contended that the proposed estate “will have a severe impact upon the physical and social fabric of the village”.

The document expressed the fear that Tuamgraney could become a “commuter village” with residents in the development travelling for work, mainly to Limerick. Five other objections were made by individual residents and families. Concerns raised included traffic safety, flooding risk and the scale of the proposed estate.

On consideration of these submissions, as well as details of the application, planners asked, last June, for Further Information (FI) on several aspects of the development.

At that point, the Council raised concerns over the width and general condition of the L-41341 which serves the site, as well as the existing footpath network and sight-lines at the junction with the R463.

In response, agents for the developer outlined that they had met the Killaloe Municipal District Engineer and both parties agreed that “sufficient road width was there to provide for an improved access road”.

The agent also clarified that no consent from any third-party landowner was needed and that footpath proposals have been reviewed by the district engineer.

In relation to sight distance at the junction with the R463, the developer’s agents said the matter had also been discussed and clarified with the district engineer.

In the 210-page FI response, planners’ queries over public lighting, layout, the phasing of the development and the environmental impact were also addressed.

During a further public consultation phase at the end of last year, six submissions were made.
Reddan’s Quay Residents repeated many of their original concerns. They took issue with some of the assurances on the capacity of the local road to support the development.

Their submission also contended that existing services, including the local school, “would not be able to cope with the population explosion that would result from this development”.

After an assessment of the plans, the FI and the submissions, the Council approved the development subject to 24 conditions. Among these is the proviso that works cannot begin until the upgrade of the L-41341 has been completed. The developer must also pay a Special Development Contribution to the Council towards upgrading just under half a kilometre of roadway, as well as the construction of new public lighting and footpaths.

Other conditions stipulate that the homes must be for individual purchasers and not corporate entities.

Before works can begin, agreement must also be reached with the Council on the provision of social and affordable housing. Conditions relating to the management of construction works have also been imposed.

Other conditions relate to the preservation of public open space, landscaping, archaeological monitoring, the estate’s name, external finishes, boundary treatments, a development contribution and a security bond.

The developer is required to agree with the Council on a series of measures to protect the natural heritage of the area. He is also required to make a Special Development Contribution towards “the improvement/construction of 460m roadway, construction of a 460m footpath including public lighting and accommodation works to link the development with the existing public road on the R463 and the existing footpaths on the R463”.

It is not known, at this stage, if the planning permission, or any of the conditions attached to it, will be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

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