A rendering of the proposed Walkers Hill development
LIMERICK councillors have raised concerns over a planned housing development for the Annacotty area.
Regal Park Developments has applied for a second time for permission to build 137 homes off Walkers Lane, with the first attempt vetoed due to the lack of a natura impact statement.
Now, with the development having more than 100 units planned, it is once again going straight to An Bord Pleanala.
But at this week’s metropolitan district meeting, members were invited to have their say on the project, which would see a mix of 61 apartments, 51 duplex apartments and 25 homes on lands bordered by the Dublin Road and the Castletroy College Road.
Labour councillor Elena Secas warned that the lack of car spaces could lead to illegal parking elsewhere.
"There are 183 parking spaces allocated to this development and there are 137 units. I don't think it's enough. It looks like we do not learn from past and current mistakes. The lack of enough parking spaces in the development will lead to people parking illegally along footpaths, junctions and green areas. For 137 units this development should have 274 spaces,” she told the meeting.
Fianna Fail councillor Catherine Slattery raised concerns around the height of the five-storey block, saying: “It wouldn’t be in character with the area.”
She was also critical of the fact that only seven one-bed apartments are planned for the site.
“In new developments going forward, there should be more one-bed apartments, especially for single people that may not be able to afford a two-bed property. There are a lot of factories that people may want to buy one-bed apartments to be near,” she pointed out.
Metropolitan district leader, Cllr Sarah Kiely said there is a risk of “stigmatisation” as all the affordable and social homes, barring one would be in part of the complex.
“The positioning of the entrance could be potentially hazardous given its proximity to the apex of a hill. Cars exiting the development will be unseen by cars coming up the hill. Cars exiting the site will not be able to see cars coming up the hill. Cars coming up the hill and turning right into the site could be stationary in a blind spot,” she said.
Cllr Kiely also said the infrastructure in the area could not support the additional homes.
Cllr Sean Hartigan, Green Party, added: “I'd have concerns in this area the density and height are out of character in the area.”
He was told by council official Dara McGuigan that there will be two charging points for electric cars, and two interior secure storage areas for bicycles, according to the plans.
Council chief executive Dr Pat Daly will submit a report reflecting the views of councillors to An Bord Pleanala by June 15 next.
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