Developer re-engages in planning process for proposed Longford estate

A planning application for a housing estate in Newtownforbes has entered the ‘pre-clearance’ stage of the planning process with Longford County Council.

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

The authorization requested also relates to the demolition of the storage sheds and outbuildings at 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 is for the proposed construction of a 17-house residential development, consisting of five two-bedroom bungalows and 12 two-storey, two-bedroom townhouses. The site went through a planning process which was awarded to An Bord Pleanála at the end of last year.

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

J & R Maynooth Ltd’s initial application to local authority planners was for permission to demolish the existing public house and build a 12-house residential development; four two-bedroom bungalows and eight three-bedroom semi-detached houses.

This request also covered the entrance, the internal access road, the green space, the connection to the existing sewer, the surface water and aqueduct networks serving the village of Newtownforbes and all related works.

In his report, An Bord Pleanala’s Town Planning Inspector, Barry O’Donnell, noted: “The grounds of appeal express concern about a number of aspects of the proposed development, in particular concerning the inability of development to integrate into the urban fabric. of the village and the impact of development on adjacent properties and structures. The third-party observer expressed similar concerns.

It recommends 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 in the village of Newtownforbes, would not fit the pattern of development in the area, would undermine the urban fabric of the village across the replacement of the existing public house building with an excessively wide junction arrangement and would result in poor layout of public open spaces.

“The proposed development would thus constitute a substandard form of development which would seriously impair the amenities of the area and be contrary to the good planning and sustainable development of the area.”

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

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Louisa R. Loomis