Some 320 new homes planned across Offaly

Four new residential projects emerge in Birr and Tullamore

Planning activity around new housing developments in Offaly has been gathering pace in recent weeks, with the go-ahead being given for two separate residential developments of close to 100 homes apiece in Tullamore.

In addition, planning notices have been published for more than 120 new homes across two separate developments proposed for Birr.

If each of these four projects goes ahead as proposed, it would result in a total of 318 new homes being added to two of the county's towns.

One of the two Tullamore housing developments, for 95 units at Church Road, was granted approval by An Bord Pleanála this month, while the other, for 99 units on the Clara Road, was approved by Offaly County Council.

An Bord Pleanála went against the recommendation of its planning inspector in deciding to grant permission for the 95 houses at Church Road, Tullamore, which are to be accessed via the existing Hophill Avenue and The Cedars residential estates.

James Spollen Limited was awarded planning approval for this development by Offaly County Council last May, but the decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Christine Cawley of Oakfield, Tullamore.

The Church Road development is due to consist of 91 three-bedroom, two-bedroom, and one-bedroom terraced or semi-detached houses, as well as four three-bedroom detached houses.

In approving the development, An Bord Pleanála noted there was some infringement of planned houses into an area zoned for open space.

However it concluded that this "limited infringement" into the zoned open space was "not material" and said the zoning principles in Offaly's development plan recognised "the need for some flexibility" to be shown on occasion.

"In deciding not to accept the inspector's recommendation to refuse permission, the board noted that, other than the extent of infringement by the houses on open space zoning, which the inspector considered, other issues raised in the appeal have been satisfactorily addressed in the application," it stated.

The board attached 24 conditions to its decision to grant permission, including that landscaping and boundary treatments at the development must be agreed with the council prior to its commencement.

It also stipulated that "proposals for an estate/street name, house numbering scheme and associated signage" should be submitted to the council and agreed before the start of construction.

Separately, Offaly County Council granted permission for a development of 99 new homes, a creche, a remote working hub and residents' gym at the Clara Road, Tullamore.

This project was proposed by Tullamore Vita Stilo Ltd, trading as Capital Homes, and has now been approved by the local authority subject to 26 conditions.

The 99 residential units planned in Capital Homes development mostly consist of four, three and two-bedroom houses. The plans also include eight two-bedroom apartments, a creché, a remote working hub, and a gym for residents in the apartment building.

The planning application for it was lodged last June, care of Kenny Lyons and Associates of Clonminch, Tullamore.

The application attracted nine submissions on behalf of individual local residents, or residents' representative groups, as well as a submission from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Offaly County Council's grant of planning approval, which was signed off on March 8, set out 26 conditions including that the developer must make a development contribution to the local authority of €396,990.

The council also stipulated that houses in certain areas of the development must not be occupied until proposed cycle and pedestrian connections into Arden Heights and into the adjoining Oaklee development had been completed.

In Birr, meanwhile, over 120 new homes were signalled for the town in two separate planning notices this week.

A total of 66 homes are proposed for the Railway Road, Townspark and Seffin areas by applicant Eoin Garry, 46 of which would be build-to-rent apartments in four separate blocks.

Twenty further homes - a mix of three and four bed detached and semi-detached homes - and a new distributor road are also planned as part of the project.

The second planning notice in Birr relates to over 50 new homes houses earmarked for existing residential developments at Macregol Páirc and Corr na Meala, also in the Townspark and Seffin townlands.

Beech Avenue Properties Ltd has indicated that it plans to submit a planning application for 58 homes, which would be a mix of housing types, including ten one/ two bed terraced bungalows in three blocks, twelve two bed two-storey terraced blocks and 14 two-storey four bed semi-detached houses.

A section of a new distributor road, pathways and a cycle track with parking, lighting, public open space and site development works would complete the development.

Both applicants have a fortnight after the planning notice is published to formally submit the plans to Offaly County Council.