Green light for 80 Dun­leer homes – de­spite con­cerns raised at coun­cil

Mid Louth Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By HU­BERT MUR­PHY

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.

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