Plans are being devised for over 600 new houses in Athlone

Over 600 houses in pipeline for east side of Athlone


Plans for in excess of 600 housing units are in the pipeline for the east side of Athlone, the Westmeath Independent can reveal.

It’s understood that two separate developers are currently in pre-planning discussions with Westmeath County Council regarding potential planning applications 
for major housing developments.
Sources indicate the applications, in total, could cater for between 600 and 800 homes.
In one case, information on a proposed strategic housing development plan for a significant site at Cornamagh/Clonbrusk is currently being considered by Westmeath County Council.
Details of a proposed application for a similar-sized development at another site in Lissywollen is also currently being evaluated by the local authority’s planning department.
If they come to fruition, these projects will be the most significant housing developments on the east side of Athlone in over a decade - and will help to effect a rebalancing of the distribution of housing in the region, after most of the most significant housing projects of recent times arose in the Bealnamulla and Monksland areas on the Roscommon side of Athlone. 
Both applications will be submitted directly to An Bord Pleanala for adjudication as Strategic Housing Developments.
This legislation, which came into effect in July 2017, allows planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála. 
Pre-application consultation is mandatory for prospective applicants prior to making an application for strategic  housing development  (SHD). 
It is mandatory for prospective applicants to consult first with the relevant planning authority and then with An Bord Pleanála.
Once lodged with An Bord Pleanála, planning applications for SHDs are to be decided within a mandatory 16-week time period which also includes a public consultation period and submission of a report by the planning authority.

The over 600 units proposed in these two applications come on top of a 562-house plan being pursued by a consortium Alanna-Roadbridge at a site at Lissywollen South in Athlone under a deal with Westmeath County Council.


The location of the Lissywollen South site, which will cater for some 562 houses, is identified in red. This is separate from the two private developments which could be in the pipeline.

The project backed by the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) involves the development of a mixed tenure residential scheme. It’s expected that, in total, 70% of these homes will be for the private market, with the remaining 30% being built for social housing.
It’s understood that a September target has been designated for the submission of a planning application for the first batches of housing.
It’s intended to have 84 units built by July 2021 and another 103 by December 2021. The project also involves, and is dependent on, the development of a controversial link road which must be completed by the end of September 2020.