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Planning permission has been granted for the construction of a 40 house development in Clonlara.

Clare County Council this week gave the green light to the development subject to 25 conditions after receiving ‘significant further information’, this included consent from the local GAA club to construct and maintain a sewer line across from their property.

Revised surface water drainage designs and revised design proposals for the attenuation tank must be submitted to the Council before the development can commence. Naming the estate after a local historical or topographical feature is also to be discussed between the developer and the County Council.

Last winter, plans were lodged by Ballysimon based DTW Construction Ltd for the construction of 70 houses on a 22 acre site located on what is known as Church Rd in the South-East Clare village. The development consists of four two-bedroom houses, thirty six three-bedroom units and thirty four-bedroom dwelling houses with 165 car parking spaces included.

Of the units, it was planned that fourteen will be detached, four will be split level and fifty two will be semi-detached. Plans also include new connections to public services including water and foul sewerage. Permission is also sought for vehicular and pedestrian entrances, access roads, footpaths, landscaping works, parking areas, boundary treatments and all ancillary site works.

In granting permission, the planning authority approved the construction of forty houses and stated that it would not “seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

In what is proposed as a medium density development, the site is bordered to the south by Clonlara GAA Club, to the east by the Limerick-Killaloe canal and to the north by agricultural fields.

A total of twenty two protected bird species were recorded in the natura impact statement included with the plans, badgers and bats were among further protected species detected.

Objections had been lodged by Church Rd residents to the development. In a submission to the planning authority on their behalf, Tony Donnelly stated, ““We object in the strongest possible terms”. The submission which included fourteen signatures warned of a “serious impact on the standard of living of the village of Clonlara” and a “detrimental impact upon residential amenities”.

Mr Donnelly calculated that if granted the development would result in a twenty seven percent population increase for Clonlara with up 190 residents predicted to reside in the new estate.

Clonlara’s flooding history was flagged in a submission by Michael Caulfield as he described the area planned for development as “marshy boggy ground”. The size of the bedrooms and small parking spaces were also highlighted plus the impact to the physical infrastructure of the village.

Concern was also raised by Clonlara Development Group. Peggy Ryan stated that Clonlara’s population doubled between 1981 and 2006 and has further increased. She detailed that the Clonlara Creche is fully subscribed with a “substantial” waiting list while Clonlara NS which in the last school year had 299 pupils and 20 teachers stands at full capacity. She noted that “very limited facilities” exist for teenagers in the vicinity and cautioned, “the youth club is struggling to cope with the numbers”.

Peggy outlined how Clonlara’s proximity to UL and Limerick City was making it a desirable area to reside and raise a family. This brings with it advantages but could see the area become unsustainable, she flagged, “we can quickly lose our identity and become simply a dormitory area”.

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