Appeal rejected in plans for Briarhill housing estate

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Galway Daily news City Council seeking planning permission for 71 social houses

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a housing estate on the outskirts of Galway City in Briarhill.

Plans were brought before the higher planning authority for an estate with 44 homes at Breanloughan, Briarhill, next to the national school, after the county council previously rejected them.

The plans were for 32 houses, a mix of 30 semi-detached and two detached houses, and 12 apartments in a single two-storey block.

Galway County Council refused approval for the project late last December on the grounds that the lands on the outskirts of Galway City were not yet zoned for development.

Concerns were also raised about a lack of information regarding wastewater disposal in the plans, the potential impact of a foul water sewer on nearby public roads, environmental impacts from the same, and the proposed layout of the estate.

This decision was appealed to the higher planning authority, arguing that this site is part of the urban framework for Briarhill, which forms part of the Metropolitan Area in the draft county development plan 2022-2028 published in May of this year.

In response to this, Inspector Colin McBride said that, notwithstanding the potential for this land to be zoned for development, the proposed housing estate still does not meet the requirements of the Urban Framework Plan in the draft CDP, which identifies a large portion of this site for open space.

The inspector had also emphasised that “The Draft Plan is not a planning consideration, however the Board may wish to have regard to such”, and that the site is currently a Tier 6 settlement, not zoned for development.

The appeal also stated that revised sewerage plans had been submitted, which have secured consent from Irish Water, and that the foul sewer would only be a temporary measure.

An Bord Pleanála upheld the county council’s original decision, refusing planning permission on the grounds that under the current County Development Plan, Briarhill is not zoned for development.

Approving the development would, therefore, undermine the provisions of the CDP due to its scale and population yield.