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05 Oct 2022

Plan for new apartments in Tullamore turned down

Tullamore Church Street

Fourteen apartments were planned for this town centre site

A PLAN for 14 new apartments in Tullamore has been turned down by Offaly County Council.

The residential scheme was proposed for Church Street close to the town centre on a site at the bank of the Tullamore river.

The council said inadequate sightlines where vehicles access the development would present a hazard to traffic and pedestrians.

Declan and Diana Rainsford applied for permission to develop 10 two-bed apartments and four one-bed apartments, along with a retail unit.

They hoped to build the complex where two unoccupied houses at one end of the street are located, across from the new Lidl store.

Three of the apartments were to be provided by refurbishing existing buildings and 11 were in new blocks closer to the river, with one block rising to four storeys.

In the planning application to the council, the developers said that in its current form the site was an “inefficient use of serviced, zoned lands” in a town centre location.

They planned a new two-storey building with a ground floor shop to 'bookend' the existing terrace of houses on the street.

The applicants' Dublin-based architect described the design of the apartments blocks as “restrained, traditional in form and materiality, respecting the traditional architecture” of the existing Church Street buildings.

A private courtyard was proposed for the centre of the site and residents of the four-storey apartment block would have had views of the river.

“It is apparent that very few properties engage with the Tullamore River unlike the Grand Canal to the north. The intent of the scheme is to turn towards the river and appropriate the amenity as a back drop to the private open spaces,” said a design statement.

A carriage arch, similar to others at houses on the street, was planned.

One apartment block was to be stepped down to two storeys to respect an adjoining house.

Its owners, who were resident elsewhere in the county, made a submission to the council saying their rear garden would be excessively overshadowed and described the planned scheme as “overdevelopment of a small area”.

In correspondence with the developers, the council had sought additional information on a number of issues, including compliance with floor area standards for apartments, ceiling heights, cycle parking standards, car parking spaces and sightlines on the street.

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