Housing plan turned down over flooding threat

File photo

A small housing development planned for near Athenry has been refused on the basis that it is located close to an area that floods.
Outline planning permission was granted by Galway County Council for the seven-house development at Kiltullagh, Athenry earlier this year but this decision became the subject of a planning appeal to An Bord Pleanala.
It was a condition of planning that the houses be single-storey, but local residents opposed the granting of permission on the basis that the area is prone to flooding.
Galway County Council planners granted outline permission for the construction of seven dwellings to Stan Lawless subject to 19 conditions being complied with.
The site for the houses is located in the small village off a third-class county road that connects with the M6 motorway and is adjacent to Kiltullagh GAA Club.
Permission was sought for the houses and was subsequently granted by Galway County Council on the five-acre site. Each of the houses came with their own waste water treatment system.
The planning appeal was lodged by both Patrick McInerney and Abby Wing on the basis that permission had been previously refused for a site no more than 100 metres away.
The appeal was accompanied by a map and photos showing that flooding had occurred in the immediate and wider area of the site for the house.
It was stated that flooding in the village is well documented as far back as 1983 and this is due to the ten-acre Rahasane Turlough and Dunkellin River.
Mr McInerney said that planning permission had been refused by both Galway County Council and An Bord Pleanala for a housing development close by on the grounds of flooding concerns.
Meanwhile, Ms Wing explained that she shares a boundary fence with the proposed development and has a knowledge of the flooding that occurs in the area.
She questioned the decision of Galway County Council to grant permission for waste water treatment plants to a site that is subject to flooding. “A high underground water table would render the soakpits useless”, she said.
The applicant contended that there was no history of flooding on the site and that it is elevated. Several trial holes excavated revealed natural sand and gravel.
However, An Bord Pleanala overturned the decision of Galway County Council stating that they considered that the development of the site for housing would create an unsatisfactory residential environment for future residents due to the close proximity of roads and lands which flood.
They said that, on the basis of the information provided with the application and appeal and in the absence of a Natura Impact Statement, the Board cannot be satisfied that the proposed development individually, or in combination with other plans or projects, would not be likely to have a significant effect on a Special Area of Conservation.