AN Bord Pleanala has refused planning permission for a massive housing estate in Williamstown that would have seen the development of 324 new residential units featuring 11 Apartment Blocks, 95 4-bedroomed houses, 116 3-bedroomed houses, 17 2-bedroomed houses, a crèche, and 657 car parking spaces.
According to the Board, the decision to refuse planning was made at a meeting held on May 14, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the board deemed that the design concept was poor, lacked variety, distinctiveness and failed to establish a sense of place. It added that the overall proposal included a “poor quality of architectural design” that did not respond appropriately to the topography of the site. They also stated that it failed to offer high-quality open spaces, green spaces and pedestrian routes.
The Board also stated that the Environment Impact Assessment Report issued with the planning application did not adequately identify or describe the impact of the development on nearby junctions on the road network, and that traffic impact that was predicted by the developers was unsubstantiated and “lacked adequate background information”. The Board said that they “could not be satisfied that the proposed development would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard to road users”.
Fianna Fail Councillor Eddie Mulligan who was one of a number of people who made submissions on the development said that he was “delighted” with the outcome.
“This is a result of a considerable amount of local engagement, and shows what happens when a community can work together for a common goal,” Cllr Mulligan said. “Everyone who attended the public meetings were in agreement that housing was needed but it was clear for all to see that the scope and the scale of this development were completely inappropriate. We’re all relieved to see that the Board did their job extremely well in this case, despite the fact that the Chief Executive of Waterford City & County Council gave the development its full approval”.