AN Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the construction of 207 houses, 154 apartments (in nine blocks), a crèche (with 100 child spaces) and 638 car parking spaces on a nine-hectare site on Ballygunner Hill.
The decision was reached despite a recommendation from the Board’s Site Inspector to refuse planning on the basis that such a project would run “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.
In its 14-page order document, An Bord Pleanála states that the “proposed development would be consistent with the polices of the Waterford City Development Plan 2013-2019, including the core strategy, would not give rise to serious injury to the residential amenities of property in the vicinity or the visual amenities of the area, and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience and public health. As such, the proposed development would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.
In total the development on a site bounded to the south by St Mary’s Church and Ballygunner Cemetery is to consist of:
* 207 houses (13 two-bed homes, 116 three-beds and 78 four-beds)
* 53 one-bed apartments and
* 90 two-bed apartments.
Blocks 1 and 3 (three to four storeys due to level difference) of the apartment development will consist of 11 apartments each. Block 2 (also three to four storeys due to level difference) shall contain 22 apartments, Block 4 (four storeys) shall have 10 apartments with Blocks 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (all four storeys) to include 20 apartments each.
Among the 22 separate conditions attached to Jackie Greene Construction Ltd’s planning application, the developer has been ordered to complete all landscaping “prior to the first occupation of the proposed development”.
All communal parking areas “serving the residential units shall be provided with functional electric vehicle charging points, and all of the in-curtilage car parking spaces serving residential units shall be provided with electric connections to the exterior of the houses to allow for the provision of future electric vehicle charging points”.
In addition, the development’s proposed name “shall be based on local historical or topographical features, or other alternatives acceptable to the planning authority”, while all service cabling is “to be located underground”.
A previous application to develop 208 houses and 60 apartments on the site was refused in late 2017, with doubts over the adequacy of sewerage and surface water drainage proposals, in addition to potential impact on the Lower Suir Special Area of Conservation (SAC) cited by the Board.