A long running planning application followed by appeal for the redevelopment of the Bayview Hotel/Harbourside Area in Courtown, County Wexford has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanala. This overturns the decision of Wexford County Council to grant planning permission.
Leslie Howard, the Planning Inspector, recommended the following:
I recommend to the Board that permission to demolish the Bayview and adjoining Ounavarra Hotels, together with associated buildings located in adjoining car park; and to construct a mixed-use development to comprise – 77no. apartments from ground to third floor and 1no. penthouse apartment, all above a 2-storey basement car parking; commercial units to include – retail, fitness centre, bar / restaurant, function rooms and crèche; and all associated site works including – vehicular access bridge, and connections to all required services on the site; all at The Bayview Hotel and Harbourside Area of Courtown Harbour, Ballintray Lower, Courtown, Co. Wexford, be REFUSED in accordance with the following Schedules
REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
(1) Having regard to the prominence of the site within the village centre of Courtown, it is considered that the proposed development, by reason of its generally excessive height, scale, bulk and mass, would create a very significant and adverse visual impact on the existing built form, scale, and character of the townscape in which it is proposed to be located, and for which there are clear Development Plan objectives to protect and enhance. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
(2) The proposed density of development at 175no. units / ha, is considered to be excessive for this rural coastal village location, and would therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
(3) The proposed development, by virtue of its physical proximity to the adjoining established residential property – to the northwest corner fronting onto Main St., would seriously injure the amenities of this adjacent property by reason of overshadowing and would be visually obtrusive and overbearing by reason of its proximity, height, and massing, thereby seriously injuring existing residential amenity, and depreciating the value of the property, all contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
(4) On the basis of the submissions made in connection with the application and the appeal, the Board is not satisfied that the traffic movements generated by the proposed development would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and obstruction of road users. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The submissions on this file and the Inspector's report were considered at a Board meeting held on 29th May, 2007. The Board decided to refuse permission generally in accordance with the Inspector’s recommendation.
REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
The site is located in the village centre of Courtown. While the proposed redevelopment of this brownfield site for mixed use is acceptable in principle, it is considered that due to excessive height and density, the proposed development would constitute overdevelopment of this restricted site and would adversely the character of this coastal village. The proposed density of development at 175 units per hectare, up to a height of five storeys over a two level basement and proximate to party boundaries, in particular the west, close juxtaposition of proposed residential units resulting in substandard levels of privacy and shadowed communal open space, would be out of scale, visually dominating and seriously injure residential amenities and amenities of property in the vicinity, contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
7 June 2007