Longford County Council has, for the third year in a row, granted ‘conditional’ planning permission for the development of additional houses at the Dun Áras housing estate in Ballymahon.
Beacon Assets Ltd, earlier this year, submitted a proposal for a residential development of 37 new houses in the estate, as well as all ancillary works.
Construction of additional dwellings on the site was denied by An Bord Pleanála last year and the year before on the basis that there is no safe pedestrian footpath between the existing estate and the town of Ballymahon along the Ballymulvey Road and that the proposed developments would 'endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard'.
Last week, planning permission was granted to Beacon Assets Ltd with a number of conditions attached.
One such condition includes the lodgement with the Planning Authority of a cash deposit, bond of an insurance company or other security to the amount of €370,000 'to ensure satisfactory completion of the development'.
The developer must also pay the sum of €81,400 to the Planning Authority 'as a contribution towards the expenditure incurred by Longford County Council in respect of the provision or improvement of public services or infrastructure, benefiting the development in the area'.
Residents of the existing Dun Áras estate have expressed their dismay that they are, for the third year in a row, forced to take an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
A spokesperson for the association said that residents are “extremely disappointed, but not at all surprised” by the decision.
“We had fully anticipated this decision and had already drafted our appeal to An Bord Pleanála well in advance of the council’s decision,” said the spokesperson.
Residents have said the granting of conditional planning is “dangerous and farcical” and 'shows a complete disregard for the safety and welfare of the existing residents'.
“Not once in the 25 conditions is consideration made to the hazardous traffic conditions on the Ballymulvey road, the lack of pedestrian access on the Ballymulvey road, the dangerous junction with Main Street (Ballymahon) or the previous directives from An Bord Pleanála that a pedestrian footpath and cycleway be provided along the Ballymulvey road for the safety and welfare of the existing community and road users,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson concluded, “We would once again like to thank the community within Ballymahon for their continued support, with a special thanks to the large number of people who requested that their names be included upon the objection, and we would once again appeal to Longford County Council to look at more appropriate development locations around Ballymahon, where the badly needed housing can be built in a sustainable and responsible manner, without endangering the safety and wellbeing of the existing community.”