Limerick council calls time on plans for proposed development at 200-year-old pub

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

The Worrall's Inn, Castleconnell, was a hotel during the high water days of the Shannon. It has lain idle for years and was damaged by a fire in 2014

The Worrall's Inn, Castleconnell, was a hotel during the high water days of the Shannon. It has lain idle for years and was damaged by a fire in 2014

THE HISTORIC Worrall’s Inn in County Limerick is set to remain idle after new plans for the site were turned down.

The council refused planning for two self contained office suites on the ground floor, two one bedroom apartments on the first floor and an extension at the rear to provide seven apartments at the Castleconnell site. The Worrall’s is a protected structure.

Two reasons were given for turning down RR Property Fund’s application. They said the proposed development would encroach unduly on the site of the Worrall’s Inn so as to to deprive this protected structure its curtilage.

“The proposed development would therefore materially affect this protected structure and it would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and in conflict with the policy of the planning authority as expressed in the County Development Plan, which seeks to preserve and protect the Worrall’s Inn and its curtilage as an item of archaeological /architectural interest,” they wrote.

Secondly, the planners said the development as proposed and the “precedent which a grant of permission would set for similar type development would increase the prevailing density of development in the area would constitute over development of the site with deficient open space and inadequate car parking facilities”.

“It would injure the residential amenities and depreciate the value of properties in the area and be therefore contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” said the planners. Cllr Michael Sheahan formally objected to the extra apartments at the rear of the Worrall’s site.

“No plan was submitted to accommodate the extra parking which would be needed for the new tenants. In fact, the yard/space to the rear of the present building could be used for much needed extra parking in the immediate area but if that is built on parking problems will increase resulting in major obstruction to traffic movement in and out of an already highly populated Bruach Na Sionna estate,” said Cllr Sheahan.  Presently, a very narrow roadway connects the estate to the Main Street, he said.

“It is regularly clogged with parked cars, thus making it very difficult for motorists living in the estate, service and emergency vehicles to access or exit the estate. Any proposed development that would in any way interfere with vehicular movement in and out of Bruach Na Sionna I could not support,” said Cllr Sheahan.  Senator Paul Gavan said the decision to turn down planning was not altogether surprising. “While additional accommodation is badly needed in the village the inclusion of so many apartments within a restricted space in these plans had caused concerns. At the same time I would urge all interested parties to work towards addressing the future of this historic building. It cannot be allowed to continue to languish in disrepair, and there is a particular onus on the council to be proactive on this issue,” said Senator Gavan.