Third attempt to get approval for 442 unit Limerick housing scheme

Computer generated image of the proposed Canal Bank development on Pa Healy Road.

A development firm that was twice refused permission to build 442 apartments and homes outside Limerick city centre, indicated it would make a third attempt to get the strategic housing project over the line.

Yesterday, An Bord Pleanála refused an application by Revington Developments for the Canal Bank housing project at Corbally, citing concerns about the potential impact on a special area of conservation, the River Shannon and River Fergus.

In a statement issued in response to the refusal, Revington said it noted the Board’s decision “mainly on the grounds that it no longer complies with the recently adopted Limerick City and County Development Plan”.

However the company added  that it was “satisfied that a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment and Natura Impact Assessment were carried out and demonstrated no risk to the environment or local habitats”.

Confirming its intention to reapply for planning permission on the four hectares site, Revington said it would “look to submit new plans for the site through the new Large-Scale Residential Development process as soon as possible.

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“We still believe that this site is ideally located for residential development and is a critical project in meeting the demands for accommodation in the area to enable the securing of the committed FDI jobs and the rejuvenation of the city.

The Clonmel-based company has twice applied for a ten-year permission for a “strategic housing development” at Canal Bank, Pa Healy Road, Corbally.

Its proposal was to build 442 residential units, comprising 363 build to rent apartments, 61 student apartments, and 18 houses, residential parking spaces, a creche, and retail units.

In the latest refusal of the plans, An Bord Pleanala highlighted deficiencies in information provided by Revington, regarding the potential environmental impact on the Canal Bank, the impact on otters, local water courses and local wetlands.

The planning appeals board said it was “not satisfied that the development would not adversely affect the integrity of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, or of The River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries Special Protection Area.”

It added that the Canal Bank site was not zoned for retail units, and that recently updated planning policy deemed “the site was not one to support a tall building and would therefore be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

The Board also stated that it was not satisfied that the proposed development would not give rise to flooding elsewhere because of plans to fill in a potential overflow channel from the canal.

Limerick-based group, Environmental Trust Ireland had lodged an objection to the plans, citing concerns about “the potential impact on biodiversity loss”.

The group’s president and local solicitor Michelle Hayes said she had concerns the proposed development, with a gross floor area of more than 45,000 square metres, “would create a concrete jungle which potentially would have major detrimental consequences for habitats and ecosystems within specially designated environmental areas protected at European level”.