Ardcavan houses turned down by An Bord Pleanála
A Wexford businessman’s plan to build a housing estate and two car showrooms on the outskirts of town in Ardcavan, has been halted by An Bord Pleanála which ruled that the proposal is contrary to zoning and could lead to flooding and traffic hazards in the area.
Michael Hayes was granted planning permission by Wexford County Council for 59 houses, two car showrooms and five commercial/light industrial units on the 18-acre site in Ardcavan beside the existing petrol station.
But the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by local resident John Molloy of Orchard Close, the owner of a waste water company who raised concerns about flooding as well as traffic hazard and a lack of amenities. The area is zoned for commercial/mixed use.
An Bord Pleanála upheld the appeal and overturned the Council’s decision, pointing out that the residential element of the development is in conflict with the Wexford Town Plan which states that residential projects are generally not permitted on ‘strategically important lands’ unless to meet the housing needs of the family members of landowners, and recommends a coordinated approach to residential projects and a preference for developing land closest to the core and public transport routes to avoid a ‘haphazard and costly approach to the provision of social and physical infrastructure.’
‘It is considered that the site is located in an area which is remote and isolated from other areas of consolidated development and not in line with the orderly expansion of the settlement’, the board ruled.
‘Having regard to the significant scale of residential development proposed, the absence of good pedestrian linkages and the lack of social and community facilities in the vicinity, it is considered that the proposed development would be excessively car dependent and would, therefore, be contrary to the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas 2009 and to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area’.
An Bord Pleanála also said it wasn’t satisfied that the development would not give rise to a traffic hazard because of additional traffic turning movements which might interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic on the public road, given that the scheme is to be served by two extra access points on a site within an 80 km per hour zone and a multiplicity of access points in the vicinity.
The board took into account that surface water drainage proposals for the site would require downstream works on third party land and said it was not satisfied that the proposed development would not give rise to an increased risk of residual flooding on such lands.
‘The proposed development would, therefore, be prejudicial to public safety and contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area’.
Mr. Molloy of Molloy Engineering which constructs waste water treatment plants and pumping stations, appealed against the County Council decision on the basis that the development would add extra run-off into the existing water system which already floods; that the road infrastructure is inadequate and there is a lack of social and community infrastructure in the area. He described it as ‘an appropriate development that will split and undermine the town’.
Businessman Michael Hayes.