An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for Castlegar housing estate

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Galway Daily news Oranmore housing plans submitted to county council

An Bord Pleanála has rejected an appeal against a decision to refuse planning permission for a hosing estate with 74 homes in Castlegar.

Galway City Council previously rejected plans from Altitude Distribution Ltd to build a housing estate with 60 houses and 14 apartments off the School Road in Castlegar back in March.

The city council had asked the developer to increase the unit density of the estate, but Altitude said that it would not do so on the basis of the suburban area and the requirement to leave a buffer zone from overhead power lines.

Planning permission was rejected in March of this year on the basis of the site layout and density, and overall design concerns.

In appealing this decision the developer said that the current plans were the most suitable for this area.

It was argued that there are inherent site constraints and that this is a suburban area, which informed the density level and layout of the design.

Multiple public observations were received by An Bord Pleanála related to this appeal.

One local resident said that the appeal does not address safety and capacity issues on the School Road, adding that this will increase traffic on an overburdened road.

The Castlegar Residents Association also said that this housing development would cause significant road safety issues.

An Inspector for An Bord Pleanála said that the density level was acceptable considering that a buffer zone is required from the overhead power lines.

However, it was added that there are “significant notable shortcomings associated with the overall layout much of which can be attributed to the inherent constraints of the site”.

The inspector also said that a housing estate of this size “where site visibility standards are restricted to 45 metres in both directions that the proposal would in my view constitute a traffic
hazard”.

On the basis of the inadequate layout and road safety concerns the inspector recommended refusing permission.

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