KT

Council planners recommend permission be granted

Architect’s drawings of what the project would look like

Although the ultimate decision on the matter will be made by An Bórd Pleanála, given the status of the project as a strategic housing development, Kerry County Council’s planning department has recommended that permission be granted, subject to conditions, for the development of 228 residential units at Port Road and St Margaret’s Road in Killarney.

The Portal Asset Holdings Ltd project, comprising 76 houses and 152 apartments with a 334sq two-storey crèche, would take in the townlands of Coolgrean, Inch, Knockreer and Derreen.

The plans provide for a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses with four three-storey duplex terraces and three four-storey apartment complexes.

The application for the 5.3ha site also seeks approval for 333 car and 350 bicycle parking spaces, bin stores and plant areas/utilities infrastructure. The proposal is for new vehicular and pedestrian access to be provided on to Port Road to the west of the site.

It is proposed that there will be pedestrian routes to the Millwood Estate, off St Margaret’s Road, pedestrian routes to the boundaries at the adjacent development to the east and to Kerry Education Training Board owned land at the south.

Drawings in relation to the proposed development on Port Road-St Margaret’s Road

To the east of the site is Oakwood Retirement Village and to the north is Millwood housing estate and Killarney Community Hospital.

Local residents had voiced concerns over the height, scale and elevation of the proposed development, a loss of privacy due to overlooking, the potential for anti-social behaviour resulting from a proposed pedestrian access to Millwood estate and the removal of existing amenity spaces from surrounding existing residential developments.

Concerns were also raised over the potential use of surrounding residential estates as drop-off points or parking locations for the proposed crèche, the possible loss of ecological habitat for local wildlife and associated impacts on local biodiversity and habitats and the potential impact on Killarney National Park.

The site on Port Road

Residents also complained about a lack of public consultation, the potential for flooding on the site and any removal of trees which, they fear, could will have adverse impacts on the water table of the site.

A detailed 30-page report from the council’s planning department was discussed by councillors in the Killarney Municipal District this Wednesday morning, following internal consultations.

The report included matters raised in reports from the council’s environmental services department, the county archaeologist and biodiversity officer and municipal district engineer as well as submissions and observations from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Irish Water, the Killarney Environment Protection group, the Kerry Education and Training Board and local residents.

In his report to councillors, the council’s senior planner said the proposed development provides a mix of housing sizes and types to facilitate a wide demographic of housing needs but, in particular, it provides an increased number of small units which typifies housing demand in Killarney and the surrounding area.

Port Road: Major development

“It is recommended that permission be granted for the proposed development,” he said.

All councillors raised specific concerns and several issues relating to the proposed development with real concern expressed about the scale, size and density of the proposed development.

The councillors were assured that their detailed views will be forwarded to An Bórd Pleanála who will make the ultimate decision on the matter.

As the project is categorised as a strategic housing development, the application was submitted directly to An Bord Pleanála and a decision is expected by June 30.

The proposed development is located close to Ballydowney Roundabout, adjacent to Parklands Holiday Homes and directly opposite the national park at Knockreer.

KillarneyToday.com: Always first with the news that matters. To advertise call 087-2229761 or email [email protected]