An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for a developer to cut down the number of houses in a planned Headford estate.
Sathel Ltd had received permission from the county council on January 16 of this year to reduce the number of houses at an estate in the works at Gortnamona, Head from 76 units to 70.
The new estate will be built at Ashthorn Avenue off the N84, and accessed through the existing housing estate adjacent to the site.
The new design for ‘Ashthorn Grove’ consists of 12 two-bed houses, 44 three-bedroom houses, and 14 four-bedroom houses.
This project was first awarded planning permission in 2004 but received two extension of duration in the intervening years.
Sathel bought the development in 2017 and began construction on the 76 homes that May.
An appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála by a local resident concerned with the traffic impact of the development, and how it would affect a stand of mature trees on site.
The appellant that construction traffic would pose a hazard, and that once the new development is complete traffic on the existing estate road is likely to double.
A Road Safety Audit should also have been submitted by the developer according to the appellant.
And an objection was also made to the removal of two stands of mature trees as intended in the plans.
In response Sathel said that a Road Safety Audit is not required as the estate will make use of the existing Ashthorn Avenue entrance, and that a plan would be in place to manage constructions traffic.
The developer also said that none of the trees being removed are the subject of a preservation order, and that the plans include the planting of Alder, Hazel, Birch, and Whitebeam trees throughout the site.
One observation was made by the Galway Childcare Committee noting that if the estate is populated by young families then additional childcare facilities will be required.
An inspector for the higher planning authority said “I do not consider then that the development as currently
proposed, would give rise to any traffic safety concerns subject to conditions being imposed.”
It was also said that the tress being removed are not protected and that there would be an overall net gain in the amount of tree coverage with the replacement planting at the site.
An Bord Pleanála upheld planning permission with 19 revised conditions.