An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to ‘fast track’ plans by Dwyer Nolan for 179 new homes at Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow.
The appeals board granted planning permission to the Dublin building firm for the 121 houses and 58 apartments despite Wicklow County Council recommending that the scheme be refused on a number of grounds.
The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme, planned for the townland of Season Park south of Season Park Road,
also faced local opposition concerned over the impact the scheme will have on Newtownmountkennedy.
Locals argued that the area lacks the infrastructure to deal with an influx of residents.
Locals also contended the scheme represents an excessive quantum of development and the proposed development is not sustainable as it is car reliant.
Those to have made submissions included Newtownmountkennedy Town Team and ReWild Wicklow.
The Council recommended refusal after finding that the proposed development would endanger public safety by reason of serious traffic hazard as the scheme would not adequately cater for the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists.
The local authority also recommended a refusal after finding that the lands are located remote from the town centre core with no existing pedestrian/cycle connections to the town centre.
However, the appeals board inspector in the case, Rachel Gleave O’Connor, recommended that planning permission be granted after concluding that “the proposed density is not contrary to national planning policy and therefore is acceptable in principle”.
In response to the council's reasons for refusal, Ms Gleave O’Connor found the proposed development does incorporate safe access for vehicle, pedestrian and cycle movements.
An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission after concluding the development would enhance the protected structure on-site, would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area, and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience.
Planning documentation lodged with the scheme states “the current proposal for 179 dwellings, at a net density of 32.5 units per hectare, represents an efficient density for this zoned, serviced site”.
The developers are to sell 18 units to the council for social housing to comply with their Part V social housing obligations.