Sunday 8 December 2019

357-home scheme is 'premature'

Bypass needed amidst fears Colpe project will impact on Julianstown

Hubert Murphy

A local councillor says plans for a 357 home development at Colpe are 'premature' until a bypass of Julianstown is completed.

East Meath councillors were recently presented with plans for 'the Shannon Homes development that has been submitted as a Strategic Planning application, which goes directly to An Bord Pleanala for consideration.

The Chief Executive willl give her report by December 3. The views of the councillors will also be part of the process.

'I take it that the schools have to be notified, but they are all at capacity, despite being new builds or having extensions', Cllr Sharon Tolan stated.

She said the roads 'were not fit for purpose' and that 23,000 cars were passing through nearby Julianstown on a daily basis. This development would see a minimum of 714 vehicles being added to the volume in Julianstown.

'The application is premature with no bypass being delivered', she stated.

With a six storey building part of the scheme, she said it would 'change the face of East Meath.'

However, Meath CC said that the national planning authorities want higher buildings to increase density.

But she said that the planners must get away from using the words 'units' as these were supposed to be homes for families. She argued that 'massive developments have massive impacts' on small communities.

While Cllr Paddy Meade agreed with everyone else that homes are needed, there were concerns about the size of the development.

He questioned if St Marys PPS or Scoil An Bhradain Feasa could take those numbers. He too said the impact on local roads would be huge, especially in Julianstown.

Cllr Stephen McKee said he could see merits on the Colpe Road and a roundabout at the Mill Road but it needed a playground. He said another phase included an office and that was needed to provide local jobs.

He added that greater capacity may be needed in the train station and the whole road to Southgate needed to be upgraded and a cycle lane added. 'Let's do it right', he added.

Cllr Wayne Hardimg asked about the level of social housing in it while Cllr Annie Hoey said there were comcerns on the Colpe Road.

Cllr Sharon Keogan said they would be 'bombarded' by these major developments prior to a County Development Plan being adopted. She too called for a playground and a proper Linear Park.

'People want to see engagement. There were a lot of mistakes made in the past.'

Cllr Tom Behan said a community centre for teens was also needed and the Business Park was vital to stop people commuting.

Drogheda Independent