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26 Sept 2022

Developer re-engages with planning process for proposed Longford estate

Newtownforbes estate

Plans for partial demolition of Bohan's Bar are in the system

A planning application for a housing estate in Newtownforbes has entered the “pre validation” stage of the planning process with Longford County Council. 

The application by J & R Maynooth Ltd is for the proposed partial demolition of an existing public house formally known as Bohan's Bar.

The permission sought also covers the demolition of storage sheds and outhouses to the rear of the building. The application then seeks to convert the remaining public house structure into habitable accommodation.

The third phase of the application relates to the proposed construction of a residential development of 17 houses, consisting of five two-bedroom bungalows and 12 two-bedroom two-storey terraced houses. The site was the subject of a planning process that went to An Bord Pleanála at the end of last year.

Planning permission was granted by Longford County Council to J & R Maynooth Ltd for the construction of twelve houses on a site along Main Street, Newtownforbes in February of last year, however the following November An Bord Pleanála overturned that decision following an appeal by Ann Marie Williams and Stephen Casserly and others.

The original application by J & R Maynooth Ltd to the local authority planners was for permission to demolish the existing public house and construct of a residential housing development of 12 houses; four two-bedroom bungalows and eight three-bedroom semi-detached houses.

That application also covered entrance, internal access road, green open space, connection to the existing foul sewer, surface water and watermain networks servicing the village of Newtownforbes, and all ancillary works.

In his report the An Bord Pleanala Planning Inspector, Barry O’Donnell, noted: “The grounds of appeal express concerns regarding a number of aspects of the proposed layout, in particular in relation to the failure of the development to integrate with the urban fabric of the village and the impact of the development on adjacent property and structures. The third party observer has expressed similar concerns.”

He recommend that permission for the proposed development be refused on two specific grounds. Mr O'Donnell said: “The proposed development, which is of insufficient density for a central site within the village of Newtownforbes, would be out of character with the pattern of development in the area, would undermine the urban fabric of the village through the replacement of the existing public house building with an excessively wide junction arrangement and would result in the poor disposition of public open space.

“The proposed development would thereby constitute a substandard form of development which would seriously injure the amenities of the area and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

The second reason was that the proposal to raise ground levels in order to provide a gravity connection to the public foul and surface water drainage networks is considered to represent “a piecemeal and over-engineered development of the site”, adding that it would fail to provide a high quality residential environment for future occupiers.

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