An Bord Pleanála green lights plans for 121 homes at Barna

Galway Daily news High Court strikes down challenge to large Barna housing development

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning approval for the constructions of 121 homes on the outskirts of Barna.

Buekeway Homes submitted a Strategic Housing Development application for the construction of 121 houses, apartments, and duplex units across the townlands of Truskey East, Truskey West, Freeport and Ahaglugger in Barna.

The breakdown of housing in the plans consists of 52 houses, 37 of which are three-bed and 15 of which are four-bed houses; 36 duplex units across five blocks; and 33 apartments in four blocks.

The estate will also include a creche with outdoor play areas, footpath connectivity along the L-1321 road, communal open spaces, and a park along Truskey Stream.

In making its decision, An Bord Pleanála said that it considered the development “would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location, would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenity of the area, would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development and would be acceptable in terms of surface water management and traffic and pedestrian safety and convenience.”

Planning permission for the housing development was granted by the board with a total of thirty conditions attached.

The developer must agree on the number of bicycle parking spaces to be provided with the county council, and a minimum of 10% of all car parking spaces must have electric vehicle charging stations.

Burkeway must also ensure that for the next 15 years at least 20% of the housing in the new estate is reserved for people who can “preserve and protect the language and culture of the Gaeltacht”.

An archaeologist must also be appointed to ensure that mitigation measures outlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment report are implemented during the construction phase.

The construction work is to be carried out on a phased basis, with the pedestrian footpath along the L-1321 to be installed in Phase 1, before any of the homes are available for occupation.

This is the second time Burkeway has been given approval for a housing development at Barna, after being granted permission by An Bord Pleanála for a 197 unit estate on an acre site at Truskey East in November 2018.

But that approval was struck down by the High Court after a judicial review was secured by Gabriel McGoldrick and Heather Hill Management Co, management company of an existing residential development nearby.

The court, in that case, said that the plans contravened the County Development Plan as the scale of it would ” breach the population allocation for Bearna”, and noted that the site was identified as a flood risk.

There were 23 submissions made to An Bord Pleanala concerning this development, objecting to it on the grounds that it also contravenes the county development plan.

Concerns were also raised by local residents about the scale and density of the development, negative impacts on nearby residential amenity, and potential road safety issues caused by increased traffic along the local road.