An Bord Pleanala have backed up the decision by Roscommon County Council to turn down a proposed “District Centre” in Monksland.
The Applicant, Donal Kenny, proposed that the facility would contain a discount food store, a 2 storey mixed use building containing 5 Shops spaces, consulting rooms, a therapy unit and services rooms, at ground floor, with 6 Apartments and 2 Office suites at 1st floor. It would also include 170 Car Parking spaces and an access road to the R362 Tuam Road.
Roscommon County Council initially decided to refuse permission for the proposed development last August and Mr Kenny took his case to An Bord Pleanala.
An Bord Pleanala summarised their ruling in three reasons. They ruled that the location and proposed use would be in contravention of the Monksland/Bellanamullia (Athlone West) Local Area Plan which aims to consolidate to existing district centre. As the proposed development contained just six Apartments relative to a large commercial space it would also would materially contravene the land use zoning objective for the site, which is currently listed as New Residential.
They decided that “considering the vacancy rates that currently exist within the Monksland area” the proposed use would be contrary the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities .
And finally they also ruled that due to the large Car Park and the number of service roads the proposed development would “seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and the residential amenities of future occupants of the development and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
The full judgement can be viewed here.
In related news Roscommon County Council officials are due to meet their Westmeath counterparts on Wednesday to begin work on their combined strategies for the Monksland/Bellanamullia (Athlone West) and Athlone area. Click here for further details.