Appeal lodged against rejection of Claregalway housing estate

Galway Daily news A fresh planning application has been made for the construction of 148 homes on the east side of Galway City.

An appeal has been lodged against a decision to refuse planning permission for a new housing estate at Lakeview, Claregalway.

DWK intended to demolish an existing single storey house on a large plot on the Lakeview Road and build a 30 unit housing estate in its place.

However the county council rejected their planning application last month, and DWK have now appealed that decision to An Bord Pleanála.

The design submitted was for 20 four bedroom semi-detached houses, 4 three bedroom semi-detached units, 3 four bedroom detached homes, 2 three bedroom terrace houses and 1 two bedroom terraced house.

These would be built around a cul de sac with vehicular access onto the Lakeview Road.

The plan attracted heavy local opposition with a total of 20 objections lodged by individuals and groups such as the Lakeview Residents Association, Claregalway Community Development Association, and county councillor Jim Cuddy.

Their concerns centred around traffic, road safety for pedestrians, and frequent local flooding.

It was also argued that this housing development would be poor planning policy, with both Claregalway Community Centre and Claregalway GAA working on plans to expand their facilities adjacent to the site.

The appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanala against the decision to refuse planning permission on June 24.

It dealt with the two main areas which Galway County Council cited in rejecting the plans: the principle of the development, and traffic issues.

The county council said that the proposals would “materially contravene” elements of the Gaeltacht Plan which said that land designated Residential – Phase 2 should not be developed while there are Phase 1 lands available.

DWK is arguing that the Plan allows for development on Phase 2 lands “where it is apparent that ‘Residential – Phase 1’ lands cannot or will not be developed within the lifetime of the plan.

The developer went on to say that the current plan expires at the end of 2021 and of the five Phase 1 sites the found near Claregalway only one had a prior planning application which was rejected by the council and An Bord Pleanála; there are also no current live applications.

There is an “identified need for 100 new houses in Claregalway for the period 2015-2021” the appeal states, adding that “to date no units have been provided on Phase 1 Residential lands”.

The other reason the county council refused planning permission was that the “type and scale” of the proposed housing estate would be “premature pending the upgrade of the road network” in the area.

In response the developer said that the Lakeview road is a rural road in a “low speed environment”.

It was also argued that the design of the cul de sac and the junction where it meets the road took into account safety precautions recommended in a Road Safety Audit.

This appeal is due to be decided by An Bord Pleanála by October 29.