Protect East Meath this week wrote to the Office of the Planning Regulator asking it to investigate a proposal by Meath County Council to release enough zoned land to build up to 8,000 houses in South Drogheda as part of the development plan review.
Under the previous development plan the Council had identified excess zoning in South Drogheda and imposed an “order of priority” where only specific sites could be developed based on criteria such as access to public transport in order to ensure an orderly and coherent development of the area. The remainder of the land, although remaining zoned residential could not be developed within the plan lifetime.
The Meath Development Plan is currently under review following the adopted of the Regional Spatial Strategy which envisages the population of Drogheda increasing by 25% over the next ten years from 40,000 to 50,000. To manage this increase in population the Regional Plan requires an Urban Area Plan to be developed jointly between Meath and Louth County Councils as a priority in order to ensure compact development and balance out development between the North and South of the town.
The draft plan envisages a population increase of 3,300 in the Southern Environs of Drogheda (the part of Drogheda in Meath) and the construction of 1,600 new housing units (including existing and new planning permissions).
However the draft plan allows six years for the Urban Area Plan to be developed which on any measure is not “prioritisation” In the mean time the draft completely removes the Phase II zoning which was preventing less suitable sites from being developed. If the draft is passed enough zoned land for 8,000 houses or a population increase of 20,000 will be available in principle.
Protect East Meath has written to the Office of the Planning Regulator expressing concerns that this approach will undermine the Regional Strategy and National Development plan by allowing uncoordinated development to take place before the Area Plan is adopted.
You can download the letter here or read it below:
Protect East Meath has just learned that Shannon Homes has withdrawn its planning application for 357 no. residential units (169 no. houses, 188 no. apartments), childcare facilities and associated site works at a site off the Colp Road and Mill Road.
This was the second attempt by Shannon Homes following a refusal by An Bord Pleanála in February this year prompted by a submission from Protect East Meath pointing out serious issues in relation to effects on the Boyne Estuary SPA area protecting winter birds.
The latest refusal follows our successful challenge to a development in Rathmullan proposed by Trailford Limited taken in partnership with the Highlands Residents Association. In that case the High Court found that An Bord Pleanála was legally prevented from granting planning permission on land zoned residential but qualified as phase II and not being available under the current development plan.
Protect East Meath had pointed out in its submission to An Bord Pleanála that the lands at Colp were also Phase II and therefore could not be developed under the current Meath County Development plan.
With this latest withdrawal no application can be made at least until the next County Development Plan comes into effect.
Only time will tell if it is going to be third time lucky for Shannon Homes.
We’ve been receiving widespread support following our successful challenge to planning permission granted to Trailford Limited for 661 houses in Rathmullan. It’s clear from talking to locals that people are fed up with over development of Drogheda and East Meath in the wrong place without infrastructure and are alive to the mistakes that were made 15 years ago being repeated again.
The High Court today quashed planning permission granted to Trailford Limited for a 661 unit housing development at Rathmullan.
The case taken by Highlands Residents Association and Protect East Meath challenged the decision on the basis that the land was not identified for residential development under the County Development Plan and that there were serious flaws in the environmental assessment.
The original planning application which included seven buildings up to 20-stories, retail, a maritime museum and almost 600 car parking spaces was granted permission in 2010. No works were commenced during the 10 year life of the permission which expired on 10 October 2020.
Protect East Meath attempted to make a submission on the proposed extension and forwarded a copy of the judgment of the Court of Justice in Friends of the Irish Environment v An Bord Pleanálawhich held that it was unlawful to extend the duration of an expired permission without treating it as a new application.
While the Council refused to accept the submission, it appears that they did in fact take on board our observation and the application has now been refused.
You can see a copy of the refusal letter below or download form here.
Protect East Meath continues to monitor the Council’s compliance with legal obligations to post planning files online – a requirement that was introduced in response to the public health crisis which means that traveling to Navan to inspect paper files is becoming more difficult.
Protect East Meath has filed an observation on Irish Cement’s plans for a major development at its Platin factory. Protect East Meath is concerned that no notices were placed in the East Meath area or in local newspapers and Meath County Council did not put the plans online despite being required to do so by legislation.
Shannon Homes has given notice that it will have another go at trying to obtain planning permission for a large housing development between the Colpe Road and the Mill Road. Permission for a similar development at the same location was refused in February by An Bord Pleanála on the basis of inadequate bird surveys relating to the nearby Boyne Estuary SPA.
The planning application can be viewed at this link
Just a quick reminder that submissions on the Boyne Greenway between Drogheda and Mornington close next Friday 11 September. Submissions must reach An Bord Pleanála by 5.30pm – there is no fee for making a submission.
The plans can be viewed on the Meath Co Co website here.