Axe falls on Limerick social housing proposal

Fintan Walsh and Nick Rabbitts

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Fintan Walsh and Nick Rabbitts

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Axe falls on Limerick social housing proposal

Limerick City and County Council has confirmed the planning application has been withdrawn

DEVELOPERS behind controversial proposals to build social housing in Drominbeg have been forced to go back to the drawing board after a blunder.

Silvergrove Developments is seeking planning permission to build 20 new homes in a mix of two, three and four bedroom units at the last green space in Drominbeg, Rhebogue.

But its application – which drew 100 objections from locals – has been withdrawn after residents spotted an error with the timeline for appeals.

This could set the project back at least a year and cost the developer thousands in lost planning fees.

The delay has been hailed as “great news” by the group of residents who remain staunchly opposed to the scheme, citing an increase in anti-social behaviour, the fact the area already has a quota of social houses, and a potential drop in value of their home as their reason.

Council initially received an application from Silvergrove Developments for the scheme last summer – but planners sought more information.

In the wake of this, the developer agreed to reduce the number of units from 21 down to 20 – then advertised residents had five weeks to make their views known.

Under planning law, residents are only allowed two weeks – and as a result of this, they demanded the application be withdrawn, something the council did following legal advice

One of the residents Gearoid Murphy said: “This means the developer has to go back to the start of the process. It’s a small victory in what’s going to be a long battle as no doubt the developer will come in with a new proposal.”

“We had residents going on holidays feeling they had a few weeks [to object] and they could do it when they returned.”

Local councillor Kieran O’Hanlon said: “Everything in planning has to be above board. You cannot be partially right. This could go to a judicial review at the end of the whole process.”

A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council confirmed the application had been withdrawn.

He added the local authority will not be commenting further on this decision.