Planning Board Inspector queries reason ‘Ballina tract of land was zoned for Phase 1 priority’

Board upholds decision of planning authority to refuse permission for proposed Knocknalyre housing project at Downhill Road.

Sligo News File Online

An Bord Pleanala has questioned why a proposed Ballina development site was zoned for Phase 1 priority.

PleanalaThe issue was raised by the Board’s Inspector following an appeal to the Board taken by Knocknalyre Limited against a decision of Mayo County Council to refuse the company planning permission for the
construction of four houses on lands at Downhill Road, Knocknalyre.

Among the reasons given for the rejection, the Council referenced the absence of public sewerage facilities to serve the site, stating, as well, that insufficient information had been submitted with the planning application.

The development was opposed by the Brusna Valley Preservation Society, who also subsequently issued a statement of grounds in which they urged An Bord Pleanala to turn down the Knocknalyre appeal.

In his report, the Board’s Inspector, L. Dockery said that “considering the sewage deficiencies, the location of the site a considerable distance from the town centre and the fact that the proposed development is dependent on individual pumping stations, I query why this particular tract of land was zoned for Phase 1 priority, over and above other lands, which at first glance would appear more suitable.

“I call the attention of the Board to this issue,” he said.

Mr. Dockery went on to state he had no information before him “to believe that the planning authority did not undertake a comprehensive assessment of the proposed development.

Downhill Road“The appellant contends that the issues raised in the reasons for refusal should have been dealt with by means of a request for Further Information. I do not concur with this assertion. There is a substantial lack of information on file. Considering this lack of information, all relating to major areas of concern, I consider the planning authority were correct in their decision.

“The applicant had the opportunity to address these issues now at appeal stage, but again no additional information of substance addressing these issues has been forthcoming.”

In conclusion, Mr. Dockery recommended that “the decision of the planning authority be upheld, and that permission be refused for the proposed development.”

The Board, “…decided to refuse permission generally in accordance with the Inspector’s recommendation, subject to the amendments shown in manuscript of attached copy of the Inspector’s draft reasons and considerations.”