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Councillor hit by deluge wants to build houses on flood plain

A FINE Gael councillor cut off from his home last year because of flooding is seeking permission to build five houses on a flood plain.

Tony Mulqueen, elected to Clare County Council in 2009, has lodged plans for five houses on a site beside his home.

A consultant employed by the politician has admitted that the site on which the houses will be built is prone to flooding.

The application comes despite Cllr Mulqueen being photographed paddling a dingy to his home at Cappahard on Tulla Road in Ennis after water levels reached over two-and-a-half feet around his house.

The councillor put in place flood protection measures and sandbagging, but his home sustained flood damage. But despite this, the councillor has lodged an application with Ennis Town Council to secure outline planning permission for five detached houses.

Planning documents confirm that the site is prone to flooding. The consultant stated that December 2009 saw extreme flooding on the site, but that the highest flood level is unknown.

The move was criticised by Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney, who said the application was contrary to government guidelines that building should not take place on flood plains. "There has already been inappropriate housing development around Ennis with the result today that you have people living in homes that are at risk to flooding."

Cllr Mulqueen refused to comment on the planning application. A decision is due on the application next month.

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