Plans for a controversial housing development at a greenfield site in Blarney have been approved by An Bord Pleanála.
The strategic housing development (SHD) application, lodged earlier this year by Eoin Sheehan, sought permission for 143 residential units comprising 105 houses and 38 apartments, as well as a creche at a site currently used for agricultural purposes in Monacnapa.
However, An Bord Pleanála has stipulated in one of the conditions attached to its approval of the development that the two apartment blocks must be omitted.
In making its decision, the board ruled that, subject to compliance with the 29 conditions attached, the proposed development “would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would be appropriate in context of surrounding uses, and would otherwise be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience”.
One condition states that proposed apartment blocks must be omitted and any proposed development of that portion of the site for residential use “shall be the subject of a separate application for planning permission”.
In justifying this condition, the board said it considered that “the proposed internal layout and associated aspect of apartment numbers 2,7,12,17, 22, and 27, and the positioning of the blocks proximate to the southern boundary of the site, would lead to a substandard form of residential amenity for future occupants”.
The site is accessed off an existing access road which services Sunberry Heights/Sunberry Drive housing estate to the east of the subject site.
The application proposed some works to the access, including the widening of the footpath at the junction with the Blarney Relief Road (R617), raised platforms, security barriers and fencing as necessary, road markings, and road resurfacing.
Speaking to The Echo, local resident Denis O’Donovan, who is the treasurer of the Sunberry Residents Group, said while residents have “never been against houses on this site”, infrastructure in the area is “completely inadequate” to cope with the increased volume of cars the development is likely to generate, and said the approval of the development is “very disappointing”.
Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said he and his party colleague, Kenneth Collins, had previously met with residents who voiced their opposition to the plans.
“On the same site there had been a number of applications or proposals previously which were either withdrawn or didn’t get planning,” he said.
“I know the residents are looking at their options now in terms of this being granted.
“Their concerns are basically that it’s a very narrow road through Sunberry estate to access where the houses would be built. There are some concerns about traffic as well.
“You’d like to welcome housing but it does have to come with the adequate infrastructure and take on board local residents [concerns].”