Cork County Council's decision to deny planning permission for small housing estate overturned

Decision, which was based on proximity to proposed route of M28, ruled 'untenable' by planning board
Cork County Council's decision to deny planning permission for small housing estate overturned

A decision of Cork County Council to refuse planning permission for a small housing development because of its proximity to the proposed route of the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway was not “tenable,” according to a senior planning inspector with An Bord Pleanála.

The board overturned the council’s decision in the case by upholding an appeal made by developer, Fastnet Recycling, to be allowed to develop 15 townhouses at Ring Port Business Park near the centre of Ringaskiddy.

The plans also involve the demolition of existing demountable housing units on the site.

Council planners had claimed the development by Fastnet Recycling would be premature pending the delivery of the motorway project, while Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which will oversee construction of the M28, also opposed the application.

However, planning inspector Kevin Moore said the council’s justification for refusing planning permission was “an unsustainable position to hold”.

The senior official said the site was serviced town centre land on which there was already residential development.

“Stymying development because it is in close proximity to a proposed road scheme and because it is perceived that it could prejudice the delivery of the scheme cannot be warranted,” said Mr Moore.

It can be developed whether the motorway proceeds or not.

The inspector pointed out that there was a lot of land in close proximity to the route of the M28 and the precedent set by the council’s decision to prohibit development in such areas would be “a significant concern”.

The board agreed with its inspector’s assessment that the development was independent of the M28 route corridor and would not undermine the future construction of the motorway.

In its appeal, Fastnet Recycling pointed out that its lands were outside the area where compulsory purchase orders would be required to facilitate the development of the M28.

The company claimed the decision to refuse planning permission because of the site’s proximity to the route of the motorway would set a precedent that would have “far-reaching legal and development consequences.” 

It claimed the development was viable regardless of whether the M28 went ahead or not.

The developer also questioned why the site was not included in the compulsory purchase order zone in the first place if Transport Infrastructure Ireland was seeking to have the lands sterilised.

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