AN BORD Pleanála has given the go-ahead for a major development that will see the expansion of the award-winning village of Birdhill in Co Tipperary.
The village was awarded the accolade of tidiest village in Ireland three years running from 2006 to 2008 and also received a gold medal in a European-wide Entente Floral competition in 2008.
Now though, locals believe a major building project will change the appearance of the village forever. The village has already been at the centre of major roadworks over the past year as work continues on the nearby M7 motorway and the construction of a major roundabout on the edge of the village, but now it appears that as one project is ending another is set to begin, despite the opposition of local groups, including the Birdhill Tidy Towns Committee.
Shannon-based developers Rinn Construction were granted planning permission to build 47 residential dwellings, a retail unit and office accommodation on a site behind Cooper’s pub in the village, despite the fact that North Tipperary County Council initially rejected the proposal.
The development plan proposes a major expansion of the village, with the proposed residential dwellings to comprise apartment blocks, semi-detached, terraced and detached dwellings.
The proposed development also includes the creation of a new vehicular entrance to the site from the Newport Road, a pedestrian crossing connecting with a new footpath to the village park, and extensive sewerage works.
The developers had originally planned to build 51 residential units on the site but this was scaled back to 47 units.
In granting permission to the company, the board also overruled the recommendation of its own inspector, who raised concerns relating to drainage and flooding issues. The board concluded that additional proposals, submitted by Nenagh-based architect Darragh Quinn on behalf of the developers, addressed these concerns.