Monday 11 December 2017

Opposition grows to nursing home plans

Residents are opposed to a proposed nursing home on a coastal site in Balbriggan
Residents are opposed to a proposed nursing home on a coastal site in Balbriggan

John Manning

Controversial plans to build a nursing home on a prominent seafront site in Balbriggan brought locals onto the streets in protest, last week as opposition to the proposed development grows in the town.

Among the protesters gathered in Balbriggan on Thursday night against the proposed development, was Cllr Tony Murphy (IA) who explained his objections to the project, saying: 'It has to be said from the outset that this site as is, is an eye sore. However, this site location is very sensitive and frames the beach area of Balbriggan and it needs to be protected from over-development.

'The height of this proposed nursing home building exceeds the height of the railroad embankment by two stories plus,' he claimed. 'In my opinion, this should not be allowed. There would be a physical change in the skyline view travelling down Lambeecher estate towards the sea.'

Voicing the concerns of many of the local protesters, Cllr Murphy said: 'The residents have major concerns with regard to the construction phase of the proposed project.

'The site is compromised with limited access through a tunnel which can only accommodate one vehicle at a time and it's at the end of a ramped road that cuts through a housing estate.

'This is a massive building project which will take a lot longer to complete because of the site location than a similar building being developed on a green field site.

'The secondary concern is the increased traffic flow to and from the site if the building gets the go ahead. There are already traffic management concerns with an increase in the volume travelling down to the local football club and all weather pitch. It's disappointing that the proposer on request would not meet with the residents of Lambeecher estate as they have no issue with a nursing home development but strongly object to this size on a building on such a sensitive location.'

This is the second time the developers have sought to build a nursing home in this site but this proposal is reduced in scale for the earlier proposal which was denied planning permission.

The new proposal is for a four-storey (part two-storey/part three-storey and part four-storey), 90-bedroom residential care home.

In the planning application for the project, developers of the proposed nursing home state that this use of the site is 'permitted in principle' under the current zoning.

In supporting documents for the planning application, Downey Planning consultants argue that 'throughout the design process, the design team has had regard to this important site location'.

The consultants say that following the previous refusal of permission, developers and designers engaged with Fingal County Council officials to 'reach a scale and form of development that was deemed to be acceptable by the planning authority'.

Fingal Independent

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