An Bord Pleanála rejects Oughterard Council housing project

Galway Daily news Planning appeal over 91 houses & apartments in Athenry

An Bord Pleanála has refused approval for a County Council housing development in Oughterard due to concerns about its isolated location, and increased traffic.

The county council made an application to the planning board for 4 single-storey two bedroom homes on the outskirts of Oughterard.

The houses were to be built on a 0.622ha site immediately to the north of the existing Sruthán an Chláir estate off the N59.

There were a number of objections submitted to An Bord Pleanála from residents of the neighbouring housing estate.

The application was under Sec 177AE of the Planning and Development Act, which requires a Natura Impact Statement, and that the development can’t go ahead without the Bord’s approval.

It requires the Bord to assess the environmental implications of the development, and its impact on the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

An Bord Pleanála refused approval for this housing project on the grounds that it is located on land that is not zoned for development.

This goes against the County Development Plan’s objective of first building on land close to the town core, and prioritising public transport.

“It is considered that the site is located in an area which is remote and isolated from the town centre, and its development would not be in line with the orderly expansion of the settlement.”

The decision said that due to the “lack of a safe pedestrian linkage” to the town centre, and the “absence of public transport”, the development would be excessively car dependent.

The second reason given for the refusal was that the development would generate increased turning traffic at the junction of the L5330 local road and N59, where sightlines had not been demonstrated.

Without an assessment of this junction, the council said that it could not be satisfied that there wouldn’t be an “unacceptable impact” on traffic and public safety.