Permission refused for Claregalway housing estate that attracted heavy local opposition

Galway Daily news Planning approval for Oranhill residential development

Galway county council has refused to grant planning permission for a proposed housing estate at Lakeview, Claregalway that attracted heavy opposition from the local community.

DWK Ltd was planning to demolish an existing single storey house on a large plot on the Lakeview Road and build a 30 unit housing estate in its place.

The two hectare site is bounded by Cuirt na hAbhain residential development to the north, Claregalway Community Centre and GAA pitch to the west, and Coláiste Bhaile Chláir 400m to the south.

The design submitted was for 20 four bedroom semi-detached houses, 4 three bedroom semi-detached units, 3 four bedroom detached homes, 2 three bedroom terrace houses and 1 two bedroom terraced house.

Planning documents state that the development would have contributed to “a significant response to Galway’s housing needs”, noting that the County Development Plan calls for the construction of 100 new homes in Claregalway by 2021.

As Claregalway is in the Gaeltacht, 6 of the proposed units would have been reserved for Irish speaking members of the community.

Other work involved in the project included the provision of communal and private open spaces, onsite and visitor car parking, and creating access from the Lakeview road.

Local opposition

A large number of objections were submitted to the county council from individuals and groups such as the Lakeview Residents Association, Claregalway Community Development Association, and county councillor Jim Cuddy.

Councillor Cuddy noted in his submission that a similar planning application at this location was rejected by An Bord Pleanála last year.

A total of 20 submissions concerning this project were made to the county council, all of which objected on multiple grounds.

Many objectors said that despite what was said in a Flood Risk Assessment submitted by the developer, these lands are prone to flooding.

There were also concerns expressed about the decision to build housing on land zoned Residential Phase 1 when there is still Phase 1 land left untouched in the area.

Allowing this would be poor planning according to the objectors, with CCDA saying it is “in contravention of the principle of phased sequential development”.

Claregalway Community Centre and Claregalway GAA said that this land should be zoned for amenity use instead, noting that “Claregalway GAA and Claregalway Community Centre have plans to develop and upgrade their grounds which are adjacent to this site”.

The other main area of concern to local residents was the increase in traffic this development would bring, with many saying that it would pose a safety hazard for pedestrians on the Lakeview Road.

Of particular concern regarding traffic was the number of children who walk to school along this road daily.

In refusing permission the county council said that the development would materially contravene core objectives in the Gaeltacht Plan.

The council also said that “type and scale” of the proposed housing estate would be “premature pending the upgrade of the road network” in the area.