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Housing plans in Oranmore rejected despite record demand

Applications to collectively build 200 new homes in Oranmore have been rejected by planners in recent months – despite demand for accommodation hitting new highs.

Three separate applications have turned down by Galway County Council – the latest for a proposed development of 70 residential units for Oranhill, Oranmore was rejected by planners on density, traffic and environmental grounds.

And that brought a furious reaction from local Councillor Liam Carroll, who said described the grounds for refusal of some of the applications as ‘spurious’ – at a time when the housing waiting list is at crisis point.

“This is crazy stuff,” he said – and he now believes that the higher planning authority, An Bord Pleanála, need to rule on such matters.

“Since we passed the County Development Plan last year and zoned lands in the Oranmore area for housing, three separate applications have been rejected by planners.

“It is not that these lands are on flood plains as I would not support any areas zoned for residential development that would be prone to flooding. It is a matter that I will be raising with Galway County Council,” added Cllr Carroll.

He also refuted claims from one objector to the Oranhill plan that primary schools in Oranmore were so full that parents are forced to bring their children to other towns and villages.

Instead Cllr Liam Carroll pointed out that primary schools in Oranmore had accepted 29 children from Ukraine as well as accommodating children from 27 different nationalities.

His comments come after planners saw problems with the density of a proposed development of residential units as they refused permission for the scheme. Environmental issues – as well as a lack of public open space – wee also given as reasons for the refusal of the proposed 70 dwellings at Oranhill.

Planning permission was sought by BRTW Oranmore 2 Ltd – headed up by publican Jonathan Duggan – for the construction of 70 residential units. These included the provision of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses along with 30 apartments.

It was also proposed to provide car and bicycle parking along with the provision of public open space as well as shared communal and private open space.

The site is located less than half a mile from the Oranmore town centre and is adjacent to the existing Oranhill housing estate.

It is situated in a mix of agricultural lands along with detached and semi-detached dwellings and is not too far from the main N67 Galway to Kinvara road.

However, Galway County Council has turned down plans for the development of the 70 residential units on the basis that the layout, density, bulk and massing would negatively impact on the visual amenity of the area.

They said that it would represent an inappropriate form of development and added that as it occupies a prominent location on the approach to Oranmore, the apartment building was deemed inappropriate.

According to planners, the internal layout of the site is dominated by vehicular access routes as well as poor quality and insufficient landscaping and open space.

Furthermore, the planners say that the application does not adequately demonstrate that the existing road network, including a junction onto the N67, can accommodate the proposed development.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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