Developer appeals rejection of Athenry housing and commercial development

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Galway daily news Knocknacarra social housing

A developer has appealed the county council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a mixed use development of 32 apartments, and offices in Athenry.

RHOC Athenry had submitted plans for the demolition of three buildings off the Caheroyn Road, and to build four blocks on the 1.34ha site, along with a new access road to get to the site.

The county council ultimately refused planning for the development, which has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Building 1 will be a three storey duplex building, with 2 home office/start-up incubators and 4 one-bed apartments on the ground floor, and 6 two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors.

The second will also be three storeys in height, with 2 home office/start-up incubators and 6 one-bedroom apartments on the ground floor, and 8 two-bedroom units on the 1st and 2nd floors.

Building 3 will comprise a single storey building dedicated solely to office spaces for start-ups.

The largest building is to be the fourth, to the rearmost area of the site, with the ground floor dedicated to an enterprise centre, and 8 two-bedroom apartments on the top two floors.

The county council refused planning permission for the development last February raising concerns about increased traffic and deficient sightlines at the main road, along with surface water drainage.

The council’s decision also said that the development was overly dense, lacked sufficient communal open space, and failed to reinforce the existing urban form of the area.

RHOC Athenry has appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanála, stating that they were not given an opportunity to address the county council’s concerns.

The appeal disputes all of these reasons, with a report from Tobin Consulting Engineers stating that the necessary sightlines onto the Caherroyn Road can be achieved with no loss of street parking, and that traffic at the access junction with be well within the road’s capacity.

It also argues that the plot density is within the guidelines of the National Planning Framework, and that Athenry is a not a small town, with a population of more than 5,000 people.

The appeal states that the 1,498m² of communal open space makes up 15.92% of the development area, and that the design provides a “high quality architecturally designed” mixed use development.

A decision on this appeal is due from An Bord Pleanála by July 25 of this year.