Planning for Belturbet housing development

The green light has been given for a nine-unit housing development in the centre of Belturbet Town.

Cavan County Council sought part eight planning permission last year to demolish six existing single-storey dwellings and develop the residential scheme, together with off-street parking and connections to the existing public sewerage system at Widow’s Row, Corporation Lands.

The scheme came before members elected to the Cavan-Belturbet Municipal District area last week for approval.

The development will consist of one two-bed semi-detached bungalow; five two-bed semi-detached, two-storey dwellings; and one three-unit, one-bed, three-storey dwelling.

A deal to buy the derelict properties adjacent to the Fay Crescent was struck in 2021. The properties are owned by the representative Church body of the Church of Ireland.

It was explained to the recent MD meeting, chaired by Fianna Fáil’s Patricia Walsh, that there had been “no objections” to the proposed development.

The Chief Executive’s report on the project was presented to councillors, and the meeting told that a council engineer had determined the proposal a “good use” of the “brownfield site” where the existing buildings have been derelict for some time.

It was explained to the meeting by Senior Area Engineer, Seamus McLoughlin, that a planning assessment was conducted. It took into account the potential visual impact of the development on the area.

The development also fitted with the ambitions of the County Development Plan regarding the provision of additional social housing in the Belturbet area.

An Environmental Impact Assessment was deemed not necessary, and the development was recommended to the members for approval by the council’s Chief Executive Tommy Ryan.

Fianna Fáil’s John Paul Feeley welcomed the proposal for the site, saying it was “good to see a derelict site put back into use".

Cllr Feeley proposed approving the Part Eight, adding that he was “delighted to see progress being made” and looked forward to seeing work commence soon.

Seconding the proposal, Fine Gael’s Peter McVitty asked about the timeframe for the build.

He was told that the preparation of a tender can take up to four months, and then four months more before a contractor could finally be appointed.

It was estimated therefore that it would be the third quarter of 2023 before workmen were “physically on site”.

Independent Brendan Fay thanked the executive for their work to date, highlighting how the vacant housing had been “lying there years” before the current plans were put forward. “It’s great to see the site being utilised. It’s fantastic to see.”

Chair, Cllr Walsh, remarked that it was a “good news story”.

“Anything that brings houses back into stock has to be welcomed,” she added.

Director of Services Brendan Jennings also told the councillors that they would be next asked to consider Part 8 planning approval for the Abbeylands project in Cavan Town, and the Shannon Pot development.

He said the Abbeylands plan would take “eight to nine weeks to turnaround” providing there were no unexpected delays or objections to address, and the Shannon Pot would require a similar timeframe but will go before councillors in March.