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Pleanála make split decision on Westport development


Anton McNulty

A DEVELOPER was granted planning permission for a two-storey extension to a house in a Westport estate, but an application for two further houses in the back garden was refused.
Westport developer Damien Gibbons sought planning permission to construct two houses along with a two-storey side-and-rear extension to an existing house at 4 Fr Angelus Park, Westport.
The initial application was refused by Mayo County Council but was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, who then granted permission for only half of the development – a move termed a ‘split decision’.
Fr Angelus Park is a 1950s residential estate made up primarily of rows of terraced buildings, located on the northeast side of Westport, close to the N5 Castlebar Road. The site in question consists of a three-bedroom, two-storey, end-of-terrace dwelling with a single-storey outbuilding in the rear garden.
Ten submissions, including submissions from eight residents of Fr Angelus Park, were received by Mayo County Council. The council refused planning permission on the grounds there was inadequate private open space serving the proposed houses and the loss of the green area to the estate that the development would entail.
Mr Gibbons appealed the decision on a number of grounds, arguing among other things, that the lands associated are in private ownership and are zoned for residential development.
The residents of Fr Angelus Park argued that more housing was not needed in the estate and that the development would destroy the estate’s original layout. Other concerns included the impact that the development would have on amenities, traffic and parking, and on the value of property.
After permission was refused, a revised layout for the proposed development designed to address the reasons for refusal was submitted.
Mr Colm McLoughlin, inspector with An Bord Pleanála, statedhe considered that the proposed development of two dwellings would have a detrimental impact on the residential amenities of the neighbouring dwelling at 3 Father Angelus Park, as a result of overlooking and loss of privacy. He noted the revised plans but stated they did not overcome his concerns.
Regarding the proposed extension, he stated that it would not seriously injure the residential amenity of property in the vicinity and that planning should be granted for this aspect of the development.
However, he recommended refusal for the construction of the two houses, and his recommendations were upheld by the board of An Bord Pleanála subject to conditions.

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