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Decision to reject permission to demolish historic Delgany cottage welcomed

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Honeybrook Cottage on Church Road in Delgany.

Honeybrook Cottage on Church Road in Delgany.

Honeybrook Cottage on Church Road in Delgany.

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Wicklow County Council has rejected a proposal to demolish Honeybrook Cottage in Delgany and construct a four storey mixed-use building in its place.

BBA Architecture, on behalf of Desmond Donegan, submitted an application to develop a four-storey building comprising three commercial units and nine apartments.

The proposal also included the demolition of Honeybrook Cottage and other structures on the Church Road site, a new vehicular entrance and other associated works.

Serious opposition had been expressed by many in the local community to the proposed development, particularly the demolition of Honeybrook Cottage.

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The cottage is not currently listed as a protected structure and is part of a terrace of three houses which includes Malvern House, which is a protected building.

Refusing permission for the proposed development at the Honeybrook Cottage site, Wicklow County Council’s planners said the proposal would have a “detrimental visual impact on the special character” of the Delgan Village Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) and set an “undesirable precedent” for similar development.

It was also felt by planners that the proposed development would have a negative impact on the residential amenity of adjacent properties.

Planners also refused permission due to concerns about the risk of “serious” traffic hazard on Church Road and the potential negative ecological impact.

30 submissions were made by residents and local groups to the planning section in relation to this application.

In its submission, Delgany Community Council said the proposed development would have an detrimental impact on the Delgany village Architectural Conservation Area (ACA). They also outlined concerns about road safety and the potential environmental impact of the development.

Councillor Gerry Walsh, Cllr Gerry Mitchell and Cllr Stephen Stokes also made submissions to the local authority about the proposed development.

In her submission, Cllr Jodie Neary said that the local community had concerns about the impact of the proposed development on the village’s heritage. She noted that there were also worries about the possible effects of increased traffic on the local road network and damage to local habitat by the felling of mature trees.

In their submission, Deputy Steven Matthews and Cllr Erika Doyle argued that Honeybrook Cottage is an “integral part of the rich architectural tapestry” of Delgany village.

They add that the “loss of this landmark site of local cultural and heritage value is not necessary to meet residential development requirements in Delgany and Co Wicklow” due to other developments in the area.

An Taisce also objected to the proposal to demolish Honeybrook Cottage, which is described as of “intrinsic historic value” to the village by itself and as part of a cluster of older buildings.

In their assessment, Wicklow County Council’s planners stated that the cottage has “notable architectural significance” to the village of Delgany.

“While the dwelling on site is not a protected structure, it forms part of a terrace of three buildings, Westgate immediately to the east and Malvern on the eastern end which is a protected structure.

“This trio of buildings is located within and contributes significantly to the Delgany Village ACA. Honeybrook Cottage itself is of notable architectural value and contributes to the special interest of the Delgany Village ACA in conjunction with its stone outbuildings and boundary treatment,” planners stated in their report.

While the planner’s report said a high quality development could be considered for the site, “the current proposal is not considered to be of a design and quality appropriate to its location and the demolition of Honeybrook Cottage would not be considered favourably.”

It was felt that the demolition of Honeybrook Cottage and its associated stone outbuildings would be “unacceptable” and the proposed replacement building would “detract significantly” from the character of Delgany ACA.

The planner also expressed concerns that the demolition of the cottage could have an effect on the “stability and integrity” of the adjoining property, Westgate and reduce its residential amenity.

In a social media post, Delgany Community Council welcomed Wicklow County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the development and thanked those who made submissions to the local authority.

Cllr Stephen Stokes added: "It is important for local people to have their say on local issues. The planning decision acknowledged that the proposed Hollybrook Cottage development would have had a detrimental visual impact on the special character of Delgany Village."

"While it is important to increase housing across the country, it is important that development works to the benefit of the local community in terms of environment, heritage and infrastructure."


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