Supporting Local News

Planners refuse permission for 72 new homes in Athenry

A large-scale housing development for Athenry has been stopped dead in its tracks on the basis that planners believe it would lack connectivity to the town centre.

According to the planners, the proposed 72 residential units did not provide an acceptable level pedestrian and cycle facilities to accommodate the residents living in the development.

They said that it would pose an increased risk to the safety of pedestrians and other road users. Planners concluded that the development would be prejudicial to public safety.

Planning permission was sought by Ray Wheatley of Bellerin 3A Ltd based in Dublin, for the construction of 72 dwellings. The development was to include 30 houses (two, three and four bedroom) along with 22 two and one-bedroom apartments. They would be set out in nine blocks.

The development was planned for Prospect, Athenry and would be adjacent to a ‘recorded monument’. It was to include both communal and private open space along with car parking and bicycle parking bays.

However, in refusing planning permission for the large development, planners said that the proposal did not contribute to the compact growth of Athenry.

They said that the proposed development does not provide satisfactory connectivity to the wider urban pedestrian and cycle network.

If granted, they stated, it would pose an increased risk to the safety of pedestrians and other road users and lead to unsustainable mobility patterns due to the discontinuity in the pedestrian and cycle network.

The proposed development would, accordingly, be prejudicial to public safety and contravene sustainable transport policy objectives in the County Development Plan.

Furthermore, planners said that the residential development would represent an inappropriate form of development at this location where the proposed density is not acceptable.

Planners added that its poor layout, with insufficient definition of character and lack of usable public and communal spaces, was not appropriate and would be detrimental to the character of the area.

The site for the proposed development is on the Loughrea side of the town. The site is occupied by an existing dwelling that was proposed to be demolished to make way for the new estate. It is close to the main Galway to Dublin railway line.

Back in 2020, planning permission was refused for the demolition of the two-storey dwelling on the site to make way for 60 residential units.

There were two submissions to the planning application and these expressed concerns relating to the potential impact this proposed development would have on existing residential properties in close proximity to the site.

Concern was expressed about the increased traffic movements that would result from the development and the impact it would have on the local road network.

It was also stated in the submissions that there was inadequate footpath provision and connectivity with the town centre. Concerns were also expressed regarding the visual impact the development would have on the local area.

It was also felt that it could have an impact on the operation of the approved fire station for Athenry.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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