Tuesday 21 November 2017

Change in Enniscorthy town plan paves way for new business park

Esther Hayden

A new business park could be on the way to Enniscorthy after Wexford County Council gave the green light to a chance in the town development plan.

At a special meeting of Wexford County Council last Monday afternoon the members of the council were told that the variation of the town plan relates to 16 hectares of land directly south of St Senan's Hospital.

In his report to the members CEO of Wexford County Council, Tom Enright, said that 'the purpose of the proposed variation is to chance the land use zoning to allow for a business park which will facilitate office, light industry, manufacturing and incubator type units. This project is a key element of the council's economic strategy.'

He said that change was considered by the council in May 2014 and following on from this a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) screening report was prepared.

The plan was then sent to various government departments also put on public display.

A total of eight submissions were received by the council, all from government departments.

The submissions were from: Dublin Airport Authority who had no comment on the matter; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who raised concerns about the SEA, wastewater and surface water quality; Irish Water who had no objections; the HSE who raised issues over noise, vibration and light impacts on 'sensitive adjoining properties, traffic and sustainable transport, open space and healthy workspace as well as the use of Killagoley treatment plant site; Transport Infrastructure Ireland raised concerns about assess to the national road while the Department of the Housing commended the proactive role of the council with regards to development and asked about flood risk.

The final two submissions were from the Southern Regional Assembly who raised concerns about the reduction in land zoned for residential development while the Department of Education had no comment to make on the matter.

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in its submission 'notes that this is an important strategic development for the town and recognised that the provision of a business park in Enniscorthy is an objective of the Wexford LECP. The Department commends Wexford County Council for taking a strong leadership in seeking to improve local employment opportunities within Enniscorthy.

'The sloped topography of the site is noted and the planning authority is requested to ensure that the proposed variation is not in conflict with the requirements of 'The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines Authorities.'

In his response to the Department Mr Enright said 'the proposed variation incorporates two new policies which introduce Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems into the Enniscorthy Town and Environs Development Plan. Surface water and pluvial flooding will be assessed as part of any planning application on the site.'

In its submission the Southern Regional Assembly said 'the proposed variation is considered to be a positive development which could support the creation of new employment and would be consistent with the Regional Planning Guidelines 2010-2022.

'The proposed variation will result in a reduction of 4.5 hectares of land zoned for residential development. However no changes have been proposed with regard to population projects and in relation to zoned land. The reduction in land zoned for residential development would not be inconsistent with the Wexford County Development Plan 2013-2019 Core Strategy.'

In his response Mr Enright said that 'section 11c of the Planning and Development Act states that the development plan for the administrative area of such a town council shall continue to have effect to the extent provided for by that plan and be read together with the development plan for the administrative area within which the dissolved administrative area is situated. In this regard it is noted that the population allocated contained in the Wexford Plan indicated that there is an oversupply of land zoned for residential development in the Enniscorthy town and environs plan. The population projections and zoning of land for residential development in Enniscorthy will be reviewed as part of the preparation of a new local area plan for Enniscorthy to ensure consistency.'

In response to the concerns raised by the TII Mr Enright made the following variations to the plan that went on public display stating the council will only permit a single new entrance or intensify use of the existing access point onto the national roadway.

Any applicant will also be responsible for the road safety audit.

Following on from the recommendation of Mr Enright to accept the plan with the variations raised by the TII the members gave the plan the green light paving the way for a new business park close to St Senan's.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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