Blackrock house plan is quashed

PLANS to build 13 new homes in Birch’s Lane in Blackrock have been quashed after Louth County Council refused planning permission for the project.

PLANS to build 13 new homes in Birch’s Lane in Blackrock have been quashed after Louth County Council refused planning permission for the project.

Mrs B Heaney, c/o GFM Engineering and Design applied for planning permission for the proposed housing development at The Square, Birch’s Lane, Blackrock in July last year before furnishing the council with significant further information on the plans last month.

GFM Engineering and Design, who have offices at 15 Church Street, Dundalk, proposed to build 13 dwelling houses on the site, comprising three two bedroom terrace homes and six three bedroom and four four bedroom semi-detached units. The application also included a request for permission for an access road and site services.

However, after a series of objections from residents in the area, the County Council refused planning permission this week, insisting that such a project could not go ahead until such time as the Blackrock Sewerage Scheme was upgraded. They also rejected it on the basis that the plans did not meet visibility standards for entrances on to public roads.

The initial application was made on July 6 2010 but following 15 objections, mainly from local residents worried about how the development would impact on their homes, the council requested further information from the developers in August last year.

That information was eventually supplied to them on May 18 this year, with the Blackrock based Inland Fisheries Ireland immediately renewing its objection despite the additional information put forward by GFM.

The Department of the Environment were also amongst the initial objectors. They noted that the proposed development is located “in an area of high archaeological potential” and insist that pre development testing should be carried out on site by a “suitably qualified archaeologist” before any work commences.

However, last week Director of Services David Storey wrote to GFM Engineering and Design, informing them of the council’s decision to reject their application.

Explaining his decision, Mr Storey said that the development as proposed would be “premature” as the Blackrock Sewerage Scheme, which it had planned to discharge its waste to “is currently operating at full capacity.”

He said: “Due to the existing deficiency within the provision of sewerage facilities, it is considered that the proposal is considered premature pending an upgrade of the Blackrock Sewerage Scheme and to grant permission would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

The project was also rejected on the grounds that the entrance did not meet visibility standards set out in the County Development Plan.

Mr Storey said: “The proposed entrance to facilitate the residential development of 13 houses requires visibility sightlines of 75 metres by 4.5 metres at an eye to object height of 1.05 metres to 0.6 metres above road level. The applicant has not demonstrated that adequate site visibility is available at the proposed junction.”