COUNCILLORS have expressed serious concerns over a planned new housing estate in Castletroy.
Walkers Limerick Land Ltd is seeking planning permission for more than 200 residential units on a piece of land just off the Dublin Road.
These will be in a mix of both apartments and houses at varying sizes. Since more than 100 homes are proposed, it means the application can be fast-tracked due to the housing crisis.
At a special meeting of the metropolitan district of Limerick, members were invited to make a submission to An Bord Pleanala which will decide on the plan.
Former mayor Michael Sheahan welcomed the proposals on a site which is a hot-spot for anti-social behaviour, but he feels 200 homes is “overkill”.
“The site does not serve the needs of the community who live there in terms of having centralised open space where parents can see their children play as is the case in the neighbouring Woodhaven estate, as is the case in Evanwood and other estates. But a major concern, the biggest one, is where is my child going to school? All the local schools are full. They are not in a position to physically be able to expand. If you go east towards Castleconnell, they are also full. Where are they going to get educational facilities for their children?”
Green councillor Sean Hartigan regrets the lack of consultation on what he describes as a very “dense development.”
“It's going to be difficult to navigate by bike. There are already a lot of issues there with the Gaelscoil, with parking and access to it. It's going to become more difficult if you've 300 cars in there. Another thing is the trees in the area. They don't want to retain them. They've a tree survey statement which says these trees are overmature which I think means they want rid of them.”
Fianna Fail councillor Catherine Slattery regrets the fact the obligatory 16 social houses are “stuck in a corner.”
“That's wrong, it needs to be looked at. People in social houses need to be integrated into the are and not stuck in a corner,” she said.
It is a concern reflected by metropolitan district leader Cllr Sarah Kiely, who said: “We'd prefer if social housing was spread strategically through the development so people don't feel isolated. That should never happen.”