Updated: 09/02/17 : 05:55:53
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Carer refused permission to build house

By Eugene McGloin

A CARER has been refused permission to build a house on a site adjacent to his parents.

The local planning authority, Sligo County Council, granted permission for the house.

Bord Pleanala has now overturned Sligo County Council's approval after a third party appeal by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Safety on a national secondary road and possible precedent were both cited in its inspector's assessment seen by Bord Pleanala.

Might Contravene

Pleanala's Board added its own concerns: The site was on a scenic route designated for views of Ballysadare Bay, it said.

The proposed development ''might contravene'' Sligo councillors policies designed ''to protect the integrity of designated visually vulnerable areas and scenic routes.''

There were no formal objectors from the locality where the new house was planned.

However, solicitors for local PJ Clark submitted that the applicants had no right or entitlement to access the right of way, which they said, ''is a private roadway.''

Planning permission had been given back in 2008 on the same site, seven miles from Sligo.

A new County Development Plan, up to 2017, had since been prepared and approved by elected Sligo councillors.

The Plan's stated objectives included ''.....avoiding the creation of new access points.....'' along roads including the N59, between Sligo and Ballina.

That 2008 permission had been to Peadar Kearins, a noted Sligo county GAA player.

Recently, his son Peter and Tanya Higgins wanted to build a house on the same site.

Their revised design had been approved in pre-planning consultation with Sligo County Council.

This would have seen the new house one metre higher and 100 square metres larger.

No Accidents

However, Bord Pleanala has now halted those plans by the duo for the site at Beltra.

Its inspector Dolores McCague recommended, in effect, that the most recent decision of Sligo County Council should be overturned.

McCague said that traffic turning movements generated by the proposed development ''would interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic on the public road.''

The site, said the inspector, is ''located alongside'' a national road.

Her analysis also flagged up that ''precedent'' might be set which could adversely affect future traffic management if the Council's permission was upheld.

The applicant, Pleanala was told, required to provide daily assistance for his mother.

Pleanala's decision now seems certain to be controversial in some aspects.

Plan Design Associates, consultants engaged by the applicant, had already showed:

1.  Traffic movements would be ''increased by a refusal'' and one applicant would still need access to the site on a daily basis to assist his mother;

2. There is ''no record of accidents'' at this location in recent years -- ''sightlines are excellent,'' said the consultants;

3. 'National ''guidelines'' cited by the inspector in support of a refusal are not statutory, the consultants added.

Details of the decision and reasons were published online by Pleanala last night, Wednesday

Only leave for judicial review in the High Court could overturn the decision.