Controversial Oranmore housing project refused planning permission

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

Planning permission has been refused for a housing development at Oranmore which attracted massive opposition from local residents.

Torca Developments Limited has intended to build a 74 unit housing estate at Carrowmoneash, Oranmore, next to the existing estate by that name.

It would have consisted of 4 three-bed, semi-detached houses; 4 three-bed, terraced houses; 38 two-bed apartments; and 28 three-bed, duplex townhouses.

The project was attracted huge local opposition, with 41 submissions made to the county council, primarily objections by residents in the area.

The county council gave six reasons for refusing planning permission for this housing development, which focused on the main concerns expressed by residents.

Namely, the scale of the development compared with what already exists in the area, an intensification of traffic on a small access road, increased risk of flooding, and environmental issues.

Firstly the council said that the impact of construction traffic was not properly addressed, and that sight line difficulties at the Station road and local access Carrowmoneash road would require remedial works.

The planning authority said that it was not satisfied that the development would not “endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard or obstruction of road users or otherwise”.

A further traffic traffic hazard would arise from the entrance and parking arrangements from ten of the units closest to the main road access point it was said.

The proposed development would also breach the Oranmore Local Area Plan “by reason of not adequately reflecting and reinforcing the existing urban form of the Carrowmoneash development to the west”.

The scale and massing of the apartment blocks also came under criticism, with the council saying their design is “discordant with their suburban setting” and that they would harm the visual amenity of the area.

As this area has been known to flood in the past the “not satisfied that the site is not at risk of flooding in the future or that the development will not exacerbate the risk of flooding elsewhere”.

The proposed development is adjacent to both the Galway Bay Special Area of Conservation and the Inner Galway Bay Special Protection Area.

Based on the information it received, the county council said that it could not rule out “significant effects arising from the project, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, on Galway Bay Complex SAC and the Inner Galway Bay SPA”.