Sunday 15 November 2009

Development 'will not affect' Castletown views

THE DEVELOPERS behind an estate of 101 houses opposite Castletown House, Co Kildare, said the scheme will not affect views from the stately home or compromise the protected lands on which the houses will be built.

Devondale Ltd is seeking permission to build the estate of mainly four- and five-bed detached houses on a 27-acre site at Donaghcumper Demesne, on the River Liffey just outside Celbridge town.

Donaghcumper House and Demesne were added to the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) by Kildare County Council last March. However, the land has been zoned for housing since 2002, three years before it was purchased by Devondale.

The council last May granted permission for the construction of 84 houses on the site. Devondale is asking An Bord Pleanála to approve the full 101 houses. Nine parties have appealed to Bord Pleanála to refuse the development, mainly on the grounds of its proximity to Castletown House. Also at issue is the estate’s location on the Donaghcumper lands and its effect on plans for a regional park.

Architect Pat O’Hara told the Bord Pleanála hearing the scheme was low density, used natural materials and extensive planting and would have no negative effect on the views from Castletown.

“The proposed development is circa 580m from Castletown House . . . existing and proposed screen planting and the layering of proposed housing layout . . . will ensure that the proposal will not impact on Castletown.”

The 17 houses nearest the river that the council refused should be reinstated, Mr O’Hara said. Even in winter when cover was sparse, there would be only “glimpses” of the houses from Castletown.

Town planner Richard Hamilton said Devondale prepared its proposals for the site with the expectation that Donaghcumper would be added to the RPS. “It is important to highlight that the protected structure does not place a blanket ban on lands within the demesne,” he said.

It was argued that, rather than obstructing a Liffey Valley park, the development was facilitating it as Devondale had transferred ownership of 30 acres of land to the council. The hearing will continue on November 25th.

Irish Times

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