Questions remain over make-up of accommodation at important county Limerick village site

Norma Prendiville

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Norma Prendiville

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normap@limerickleader.ie

Questions remain over make-up of accommodation at important county Limerick village site

Fears have been expressed by councillors that young local people may lose out in the housing scheme

PLANS are due to be submitted early in the New Year for the first tranche of private homes on the 14-acre site bought from the council on the Rathkeale Rd in Adare.

The new owners are developing their scheme, Seamus Hanrahan, senior executive architect told Adare Rathkeale councillors last week.

“We have seen sketches and they are progressing to a planning application probably in the New Year,” he said.

They had paid their deposit to the council and another tranche of money was due along with the planning application. Time limits had been set out in the contracts, Mr Hanrahan said.

There was an eight-month limit from the date of the agreement to getting a planning application lodged, he explained.

He expected the houses would be starter homes. “The luxury housing market is well catered for in Adare,” he added.

But Cllr Stephen Keary raised concerns about the conditions imposed by government on who could apply for the eight serviced sites earmarked for another section of the land-bank and on the affordability.

“A lot of young people will be precluded under the terms of the scheme,” he said.

He would not be supporting the Part 8 planning if the conditions were not to his liking, he said.

“We need to tell people exactly what the criteria will be,” Cllr Kevin Sheahan said.

“We wanted private, social and affordable housing. We were all at one on that. We want to see the Part 8 move quickly but we have been sidelined on the affordable site issue.”

“We want the Adare people to have primary consideration for these houses.”

Cllr Bridie Collins said Adare people were “falling out of the net” and being forced to go elsewhere to live because they couldn’t afford housing in their own village.

“These are the children of people who have lived all their lives in Adare,” she said.

There are only eight sites, she added but she could think of up to 50 couples who would like to avail of the affordable housing scheme.

“Can we as a council determine our own criteria?” she asked.

Mr Hanrahan told councillors their options on any Part 8 planning application was to approve, reject or modify.

“This is a situation where the terms of the scheme are already laid out,” he said.

There was a whole tier system in place, he explained, a kind of cascade of priorities.

“There isn’t a whole pile we can do at this point,” he said.