Mountbellew filling station fight heads back to An Bord Pleanála

Galway daily news Knocknacarra social housing

Opposition has remained strong to a proposed filling station on the road into Mountbellew, with local residents launching an appeal against approval of the latest plans.

Planning permission was granted by the county council last February for a filling station at College Road, Mountbellew with a total of 16 conditions attached.

The proposed filling station consists of a change of plans to previously approved blocks of commercial units and apartments on the same site.

The county council received a total of 36 public submissions concerned with this project at the time.

Claremorris Developments had previously been refused planning permission for this proposal in 2019 by both the county council and higher planning authority on the grounds that it would pose a road safety hazard.

An updated Traffic and Transport Assessment and Road Safety Audit were included in the fresh application approved this year.

A total of six notices of appeal against the newly approved plans were filed with An Bord Pleanála, five from private individuals, and one from the Mountbellew District Development Association.

The largest areas of concern expressed by all parties were the impact this development could have on the commercial centre of Mountbellew, and the safety hazard it would pose on College Road.

The Mountbellew District Development Association in its appeal, stated that in over 30 years it has never made a submission or objection to any proposed development in the area.

“Our association’s aim is to encourage and facilitate development in the area, but it must be proper and sustainable development”.

“This proposed development does not meet the criteria for sustainable development”.

The association notes that this is already a “problematic” stretch of road for traffic congestion, as well as parking and safe crossing.

Within 100m of the proposed site of this filling station are the Holy Rosary College secondary school, St. Mary’s NS, an Ability West respite centre for people with disabilities, and St. Mary’s Church.

“The addition of another exit with the anticipated traffic numbers being associated with the proposed development, including articulated lorry deliveries of bulk petroleum as well as other deliveries, further exacerbates the level of danger in an already complex and dangerous stretch of road.”

Other concerns raised concern the impact the supermarket associated with the full site development could have on the commercial viability of the town centre, and the stress it would put on the town’s wastewater infrastructure.

Private residents in the vicinity of the site are also worried about light and noise pollution from the filling station.

An Bord Pleanála is currently due to make a decision on this planning appeal by July 13 of this year.