NEW ESTATE GETS GO-AHEAD
Green light for 80 Dunleer homes – despite concerns raised at council
A NEW 80-house estate at the rear of the national school in Dunleer is to go ahead – but only after reservations were expressed about the practical needs of people living in two-bedroom houses with only access from the front door.
The new estate is to have 33 two-bedroom homes, with no side entrances, something councillor Dolores Minogue felt was ‘just not sustainable living in the present era’. She said that people moving into the houses would find that an issue.
The matter drew such debate that last week’s Ardee area council meeting was adjourned for a period to allow councillors consider their options.
DUNLEER’S new 80 house development at the rear of the national school on the Ardee Road will go ahead, but not before a council meeting where it was to be approved had to be temporarily adjouned after reservations were expressed about certain elements of the plan.
Last Thursday’s Ardee Municipal meeting heard that the development had gone out to the public for comment and while a few issues were raised by nearby residents, the council felt those had been addressed.
However, one aspect of the estate concerned Cllr Dolores Minogue (inset)- the fact that 33 of the houses will be two-bedroomed and will have no side entries, meaning everything must come through the front door.
‘The first thing is that these houses are badly needed social housing for Dunleer’, she stated. ‘But my concern is that there will be no back entrances to 33 of these houses.’
She felt that was unsustainable in a modern, practical world. She said she wanted these to be ideal homes for people, but from personal experience, knows how hard living with just one entry into the home will be.
‘If kids have bikes or whatever, it will be tough on parents. I’m just looking at the practical side of this and I feel these homes need a side entrance.’
Cllr Tom Cunningham also felt a side entrance was vital while Cllr Pearse McGeough was in agreement and felt the design needed more thought.
Council officials said that the planners had listened to the concerns about the side entrances and had designed bin bays at the front , meaning they didn’t have to be dragged through the house.
They also felt opening up alleyways was not appropriate and if they reduced the number of two-bedroomed houses, duplex developments would have to be added to keep in line with the County Development plan for housing density.
They added that if people got a two-bedroom home, there would be scope in the future to move to bigger homes in the development if the family size increased.
Cllr Colm Markey said there had been ‘significant engagement’ over the plans and the school was happy and he felt the design was better than a lot of private estates around the area.
‘The quality of life in the development would be great and I think we should proceed. It’s a positive development.’
It was indicated by the council that there is a huge need for two bedroomed homes at the moment and this was a way of assisting with that.
Cllr Jim Tenany said he was in favour of the plan as the council were getting a lot of calls from people wishing to move out of bigger homes into smaller ones.
Cllr Minogue again stated that a home with one door would be ‘bedlam’ for somebody with a small family.
‘I’m trying to look 10 years down the road and just how sustainable 33 homes with one door will be for people living here. I would like to see 23 houses with side entrances, allowing residents some option.’
After some debate, it was decided that a five minute recess take place to consider the matter further.
It then went to a vote with Markey, Tenanty, McGeough and Cunningham voting for the plans as they stood and Minogue going against.