Major four-storey office block in Tullamore gets green light

The development of a four-storey office building in a business park in Tullamore has been given the green light by Offaly County Council planners.

In a decision signed on Friday last, the local authority issued approval to Hanney Properties Ltd to construct the new facility on a 0.616 hectare site in Central Business Park, Clonminch Road, Tullamore.

The planning application for the project had been submitted in February by Hanney Properties, directed by Nigel Reams of 56 Axis Business Park, Tullamore.

The company sought permission for the four-storey building with the works being carried out over 2,991 square metres, to include an entrance, car parking, landscaping, and associated works.

A letter from John Flanagan of Central Business Park, which gave his consent to Hanney Properties to apply for planning permission "on our land site at Site 3, Central Business Park, Clonminch, Tullamore," was included in the planning file.

A planning report prepared on behalf of Offaly County Council in March stated that the project was being proposed for an undeveloped site across the road from another office block that was under construction.

Further information was sought by the council in relation to the project in April.

It noted that 151 car parking spaces were being provided in the initial plans, but that this parking provision involved the removal of "substantial landscaping" at the front of the site.

The applicant was asked to submit a revised car parking design that would see the "existing landscaping element" being retained.

The planning report also sought further adjustments to the plans, including the addition of shower facilities for those who might be using the 28 bicycle spaces that were planned at the building.

The Birr-based Hoctor Smyth Architecture and Engineering firm, acting on behalf of the applicant, responded to the requests for further information in early July.

Its response noted that the design had been revised in order to incorporate "a vegetated mount" outside the new building.

"The existing ornamental shrub planting... is largely looking tired and 'leggy' and is made up of exotic species... which will be replaced with new native hedgerows, planting, and pollinating plant species that have greater environmental and biodiversity value," the response stated.

The response also included a revised site layout, a landscaping plan, and a construction and demolition waste management plan.

Offaly County Council granted permission for the development subject to fourteen conditions.

It stipulated that construction work at the site could only be carried out between the hours of 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, and between 8am and 2pm on Saturdays.

Hanney Properties was also instructed that it must make a development contribution to the local authority, prior to commencing the development, of €51,480.