The first large housing estate on the Rosslare Road entrance to Wexford town could be on the cards as Wexford County Council considers planning applications from a Dublin-based company for the construction of 142 homes and a creche in two phases on a site at Kerlogue, Rocksborough and Strandfield.
Morrowpoint Properties Limited of 25 Herbert Place, Dublin 2 with Judith Hally as director have lodged two simultaneous applications for a total of 133 semi-detached and terraced houses of varying sizes and a three-storey block of nine two-bedroom apartments along with a single storey childcare facility.
The site was formerly agricultural land owned by the Stafford family and is beside Kerlogue House, opposite Kerlogue Nursing Home and near the Rosslare side of the planned large-scale Mulgannon/Rocksborough housing development. To the south is a stream and three ponds.
The developer is also seeking permission for a new access off the R730 Rosslare Road with a right turning lane and pedestrian access points along with a rising main connection to the existing Wexford town waste water treatment plant in the townland of Strandfield.
Philip and Paula Stafford who own the land proposed for the underground connection have given approval to Morrowpoint Properties to apply for planning permission.
A Natura Impact Statement was submitted by the applicant at the request of the County Council during a pre-planning meeting held in march 2016, due to the location of Natura 2000 sites in the locality.
The statement prepared by Cluain Ecology Ltd concluded that there would be no significant effects as a result of the housing development on the River Slaney Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area (SPA).
It was considered that the developments would have no major impact on key habitats or species or the overall integrity of the Natura 2000 sites.
However, the NIS recommended measures such as silt traps and fencing during the construction of Phase 2 which is located on more elevated ground, sloping towards the railway line and Wexford estuary, along with measures to control noise so as not to disturb wildlife.
While it is accepted there will be noise and activity from the finished residential scheme, there will be no direct loss of wetland habitats or species as the area is not within the boundaries of the Natura 2000 site.
It was recommended that lighting along the boundary of Phase 2 should be be designed with downward shielding to minimise any nuisance to bird life at night and all non-essential site lighting is to be switched off during construction. It was advised that work should stop immediately if any bat colonies are encountered during the building.
During pre-planning consultations, the developer was asked to take note of the local authority's proposed coastal walk along the edge of the harbour and railway line. It was pointed out that ten per cent of the houses will be required for social housing and 20% should be adaptable lifetime homes for people with a disability. Iarnod Eireann was notified of the application by Wexford County Council as Phase 2 is near the railway line. A road safety audit was also submitted with the application along with a Traffic and Transport Assessment by Coakley Engineering which concluded that there would be no traffic congestion problems and the extra traffic generated by the housing estate could be accommodated within the capacity of the local road network well into the future.