Arvagh bank property to be converted to apartments

Galetech Sustainable Living Limited has been given the go-ahead on plans to renovate the vacant former Bank of Ireland building in Arvagh town, and convert it into four apartments.

The equal mix of one and two-bed units were permitted by planners at Cavan County Council earlier this month.

The application mirrors that granted to Galetech SLL last year when it received permission to renovate a vacant commercial building at 67 Market Street into four apartments.

Before that Galetech SLL was granted conditional planning permission to provide four new townhouses to the rear of 67 Market Street, Cootehill. This included one two-bedroom and three one-bed townhouses, with plans sanctioned at the end of August 2021.

The Arvagh application, in respect of the former Bank of Ireland building at Market Square View, Main Street, includes changing the use of the property from financial services to residential use.

A Design Statement compiled by Jarlath Johnston, building surveyor, on behalf of Galetech SLL and submitted to council planners, stated that the applicant had “identified” a local need for town centre residential units in Arvagh.

An end of terrace double-pile three-bay two-storey property, built circa 1870, it is listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. It is also listed on the Record of Protected Structures, having served as a financial institution in the town since the 1930s.

The building, on a site covering just under 0.9 acres, has lain vacant since the BOI branch in Arvagh closed in October 2021.

The design statement outlines that “careful consideration” was taken to appropriately layout the proposed apartments, which minimised the amount of demolition required.

Access is to be provided to the proposed development via a rear entrance door. The remaining double door entrance to the front and a single door to the left hand side will be retained. However these will be “blocked off from the inside”.

The night safety hatch will be removed.

There is no provision for new car parking within the site, however the design statement notes there are five existing spaces provided along Market Square and the Main Street, just outside the building.

The application states that the plan adheres to various housing strategies, from Croí Cónaithe to the Town Centre First approach, under the overarching Housing For All programme.

“In a time with homelessness, affordable accommodation and emergency accommodation are all in everyday news, we respectfully submit that a proposal such as this, within an established settlement of Arvagh town centre, will endeavour in some small part, to address the problems currently being experienced in Ireland”, says the design statement, dated November 2022.

A Conservation Method Statement and Impact Assessment Report were also submitted as part of the application.