Decision imminent on controversial Oranmore housing development

Galway daily news Knocknacarra social housing

A decision is due this week on whether the county council will grant planning permission for a housing estate at Carrowmoneash, Oranmore.

The proposed housing development by Torca Developments Limited has proven highly contentious with locals who say that it will exacerbate flooding and traffic issues among other concerns.

The application before the county council is for the construction of 74 housing units consisting of 4 three-bed, semi-detached houses; 4 three-bed, terraced houses; 38 two-bed apartments; and 28 three-bed, duplex townhouses.

The estate, with a proposed location off the Station Road and next to Carrowmoneash estate, would be served by 110 parking spaces.

Objections to the development centred on road safety issues, ecological concerns, and flood risk issues in he 41 submissions received by the county council.

Among those who made a submission was local county councillor Jim Cuddy who said these plans have been the source of “a lot of anxiety” to Oranmore residents, particularly those in the existing Carrowmoneash estate.

Councillor Cuddy said that this site is already the subject of an enforcement order which has not been complied with, and that unauthorised excavation work took place before any planning application was lodged.

Flooding is also a serious issue in the area, and granting permission for this development could have “wide reaching” effects.

“No just in that area but all the way up to Frenchfort which has suffered from flooding in the past and required major remedial works to be carried out,” Councillor Cuddy said.

A Hydrology Report should be commissioned and before any application is even considered he concluded.

While many local residents submitted their own objections to this housing development to the county council, one was also made by the Carrowmoneash Residents Association.

They say that the existing estate of just under 20 homes is a “quiet, self-contained” area with long term residents. Allowing such a high density development in the area would contravene the Local Area Plan it is claimed.

Serious objections were also made against the developer’s intention to use the existing Carrowmoneash estate road to provide access to the estate off Station road.

This is a private road maintained by residents, not taken in charge by the county council, and was never built to accommodate the level of traffic this development would bring.

“It is already difficult to exit onto Station Road and can take up to seven minutes to exit safely. Cars coming off the roundabout onto Station Road often accelerate too quickly, requiring extra caution when exiting our road.”

A drastic increase in the volume of cars would “create a very dangerous intersection and increase the likelihood of future accidents and potential fatalities”.

Residents are also concerned that this project will increase the risk of flooding at a location which has been flooded in the past.

A Traffic and Transport Assessment, Flood Risk Assessment and Natura Impact Statement were submitted as part of this planning application.

Galway County Council is due to make a decision on this planning application by January 4.