Planning permission refused for Oughterard housing development

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Planning permission has been refused for a housing estate on the outskirts of Oughterard, with environmental, flooding, and road safety concerns.

Hyman Properties sought approval for a 61 unit housing estate on the Glann Road north of Oughterard.

The estate would have consisted of 4 two-bedroom bungalows, and 57 two-storey houses with 16 two-bed units, 33 three-bed units, and 8 four-bed units.

The housing in the estate would have been a mix of detached, semi-detached, and terraced homes, with the bungalows geared towards elderly residents.

Hyman proposed to have the estate served by 95 parking spaces for cars, and 48 bicycle spaces, with entrance to the site via an existing point on the Glann Road, and a new one onto the Carrowmanagh Road.

There were multiple objections to the plans from local residents, saying the roads would not be able to support the extra traffic, and that it would pose a danger to pedestrians.

Concerns were also raised in objections about the proximity of the Owenriff River, both as a flood risk to the site, and about potential environmental impacts that the development would have on the river.

A Natura Impact Statement and Flood Risk Assessment report were submitted with this planning application.

Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Oughterard Anglers and Boatman’s Association both stated that the river is an important habitat for trout, salmon, and Freshwater Pearl Mussels.

They said that these could be put at risk by the fact that several tributary watercourses for the Owenriff run through this site, and that the NIS did not provide enough information on this.

In refusing planning permission for the estate, Galway County Council raised several concerns about its proposed location and design.

The council said that it wasn’t satisfied that the development wouldn’t have a negative environmental impact on the Lough Corrib Special Area of Conservation, and that the drainage and storm water systems aren’t adequate when part of the site is an identified flood risk.

The proposed link road would also affect traffic in the area, and the increased traffic from the estate would pose a safety risk to the two schools in the area.

The design of the estate was also criticised for failing to “reinforce the existing urban form” of Oughterard, and lacking properly located public spaces.

Even aside from these concerns, the council said that the land is not zoned for development, and that allowing this to go ahead would set and “undesirable precedent” for the area.