A proposal to construct a major commercial development in Claregalway that would involve the demolition of a well-known public house and restaurant has been opposed by an individual with a Longford address who claims that it will add to the traffic congestion in the village.
Planning permission has been granted for the demolition of the Summerfield Bar and Restaurant in Claregalway, subject to 18 conditions.
The development, proposed by owner John Coyle, would include the provision of a replacement pub and restaurant, a bookies and a taxi office on the ground floor. The first floor will have four commercial units.
It is also proposed to redevelop the area around the existing filling station with the provision of retail units at ground floor level and an apartment on the first floor. A new car wash facility is also included in the development.
County planners granted permission for the development of the business premises in Claregalway but this has now become the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála on the grounds that it is located on the very busy N17.
The appeal has been lodged by Liam Madden with an address at Convent Road, Longford who said that it is contrary to the aims, objectives and policies of the county development plan.
He said such an intensive concentration of activity would create or exacerbate an existing traffic hazard that there is in Claregalway. He said that he was supported in this opinion by road traffic studies that have been conducted in the village.
The objector has also stated that the new proposed development is located close to a protected structure and has described the design as “a mishmash in a hairbrained circus opening of the N17”.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (the former NRA) also had an issue with the development stating that it would have an adverse impact on the national road and is currently in a zone which is designed for traffic calming.
Meanwhile, Mr Madden said that the design was well below par for the immediate backdrop to a protected structure. “The whole point about a protected structure is that there is a requirement to conserve it” he said.
He also referred to the flooding that took place in Claregalway during 2009 and has asked what measures are being carried out by the Office of Public Works—the OPW are currently undertaking flood mitigation measures in Claregalway.
“I ask that the Board take a long hard look at this proposal from a distance. Is this the sort of circus that should be built beside a protected structure? I suggest that the proposal would be refused” Mr Madden said in his submission.
A decision on the appeal will be known at the end of January.