State transport body moves to block Rahoon housing scheme
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Dara Bradley
~ 4 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Plans for a large housing estate in Rahoon encroach onto land earmarked for Galway’s proposed ring road project, it has been claimed.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Galway County Council lodged objections to An Bord Pleanála about a proposal by Cairn Homes Property Limited to build 151 homes on a 10-acre site south of Letteragh Road.
The proposal to demolish a shed and construct 93 houses, 58 apartments and a crèche, was lodged with An Bord Pleanála under Strategic Housing Development legislation last April.
The Board had been due to decide on the proposal by August 2, but confirmed to the Galway City Tribune it has been delayed.
A total of five submissions were made to the planning appeals board including two that claimed it encroached on land earmarked for the N6 Galway City Ring Road project that has been approved by ABP but is subject to a challenge.
Galway County Council urged APB to reject the housing plan.
It claimed it “encroaches onto the development boundary and lands to be compulsorily acquired for the (ring road) scheme and will sever lands being acquired for the scheme drainage”.
The development was “unacceptable” to the Council, according to Seán Devaney, Senior Engineer.
It would “prejudice the construction” of the proposed road; and could “lead to flooding on lands” within the road development scheme.
The housing plan includes changes to the N59 link road south embankment but the Council said it has not consented to this, nor is this change factored into the Environmental Impact Assessment carried out as part of the Ring Road plans.
The Council warned it would not pay additional costs of mitigating the changes if the Strategic Housing Development proceeds.
TII said the development would “adversely affect the operation and safety of the national road network” because it “could prejudice plans for the delivery” of the Ring Road.
A retaining wall included in the plan could “significantly impact” the ring road but the applicant did not include a Technical Acceptance report, which is required by regulations. TII said this was a “considerable omission” and “should be resolved prior to any decision to approve”.
It concluded the plans could negatively impact the ring road and would be “contrary to the provisions of Government policy”.
Galway Cycling Campaign complained the development over emphasised design principles for vehicles providing access to Letteragh and Rahoon Roads via Bóthar Diarmuida.
Through traffic would “reduce safety and liveability” of the proposed development’s future residents, it said.
The cycling lobby highlighted its road safety concerns, permeability design concerns, and concerns about cycling infrastructure in its submission, which called for modifications and a Request for Further Information.
Neighbours of the proposed development, Róisín and Dermot Hughes, have objected on the ground it would generate “significant increase in the volume of traffic, give rise to traffic congestion and would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard in an a area with small and narrow roads with restricted capacity”.
Irish Water confirmed the development was feasible without water or wastewater infrastructure upgrades.
The plans for the site, which surrounds the Breacán estate, also include 280 carparking and 173 bicycles spaces and would be accessed from the Letteragh Road and from Bóthar Diarmuida, which runs from the Rahoon Road and links Rosán Glas and Bun a’ Chnoic.
According to the proposals, a key factor in the development is the provision for a major link road along the western boundary – the N59 link road is proposed as part of the Ring Road project, which is currently the subject of several High Court challenges.
Planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units or 200 student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála following initial consultations with local authorities under the SHD (Strategic Housing Development) process.
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