Major Tullamore housing development gets go-ahead

A major housing development on Tullamore’s Church Road is to proceed after Offaly County Council granted planning permission for the project subject to 23 conditions.

The planning application for a 95-house development, which consists of 92 three and two bedroom two-storey houses and terrace houses, along with three single storey houses by James Spollen Ltd was approved recently.

It is proposed for a site off Church Road, Tullamore, accessed via the existing Hophill Avenue and The Cedars residential estates.

A planning application was submitted on April 29, 2022 and revised plans were submitted on March 20 last on foot of a further information request from the council.

As part of the 23 conditions attached to the granting of planning permission, the open spaces in the development are to be “developed for, and devoted to, public use”.

Another condition is that the developer submit a revised layout of the proposed entrance to the development to include a pedestrian crossing at the proposed entrance in order to accommodate a pedestrian link to the existing footpath network in the adjoining Oakfield/The Cedars estates. They have also been requested to install bollards and retention sockets at the boundary to prevent vehicular access to the Ashley Court estate.

The application attracted 21 submissions from residents in nearby housing estates, including six each from Hophill and Oakfield, four from the residents in Bachelor’s Walk, two from the Cedars development and submissions from Ashley Court, Clonminch Avenue and the Residents Association of Hophill and The Cedars.

The two main issues raised in the third-party submissions were in relation to the scale and density of the proposed development adjacent to existing lower density estates and concerns around traffic.

In addressing the density issue, the developers said the 3.048 hectare site, with a proposed development of 92 units, would result in a density of 30.2 per hectare, which is “the lowest recommended density for an urban site.”

They also pointed out, in the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on residential development in urban areas, the recommended density in large towns is between 30-35 dwellings per hectare, and densities of less than 30 dwellings per hectare is “not recommended” for urban sites in excess of 0.5 hectares.

In their submission on further informatoin, the Hophill Residents Association said “serious concerns” had been expressed at their AGM at the proposed use of Hophill Avenue and Cedars as the only entry and exit points to the proposed development. They urged the council to use Clonminch Avenue, which links up with the Killeigh Road, as an additional entry/exit route, and said it would support “further development” of the site by James Spollen Ltd.

The Hophill residents also expressed concerns about the use of Hophill Avenue and Cedars “an already weakened infrastructure” to facilitate development and construction of the site in the short-term.