OFFALY County Council has granted planning permission for five town houses at Harbour Street, Tullamore.
The plans will see a change of use of an existing public house and storage sheds on the street. Offaly County Council attached nine conditions to the permission.
Prior to the decision Tullamore Parish on behalf of St Finian’s Trust had lodged a submission with the council in connection with the planned development. St Finian’s Trust is the legal owner of the church and grounds at Harbour Street and of houses 18 and 19 on Chapel Street.
In its submission the Parish stated that the “Trust is the owner of the land immediately adjoining the proposed development which serves as an access to the church which we understand is a listed building.”
According to the submission, the Heavy House at Harbour Street shared an archway which was bought by the Trust for the purposes of improving access and light to the church and was in accordance with a council development plan with the objective of improving the visibility of the church from the streets around it.
The yard entrance archway is shared with the adjoining Comerford’s and to the churchyard at Harbour Street. It is always closed for mutual convenience. The Parish say it is their understanding that the archway at ground level is owned by the Trust with a right-of-way over it for the benefit of the pub.
“We are concerned about the proposed two one bedroom units at the rear of the site which are very close to the Church and to the bell tower (a listed structure) and also to no 18 Chapel Street of which we are the owners. We feel that a single storey development would be better here.”
The parish contends the development may be congested and say it is nor on a par with the town houses across the road at Harbour Street.
In addition the submission points out that any damage to the existing boundary wall must be repaired by the developer.
Furthermore it states that the “existing timber gate on the boundary wall is our entrance to a right of way which exists at the double door on the front wall of the proposed development, this entrance and exit must be kept clear at all times.”
In conclusion the Parish feels something less intensive is needed in the interests of householders and for the preservation of the amenity value of the curtilage of the church on this site.
It comments that the Harbour Street entrance to the church is the most used for services including weddings and funerals.
There is no information on the nine attached conditions available.