Planning bid lodged for huge 570-home Athlone development
A planning application for a residential development of 285 houses and 291 apartments and duplexes on the east side of Athlone was lodged with An Bord Pleanála today (Wednesday).
The huge estate would be located at Lissywollen and Kilnafaddoge, beside the existing Brawny housing and facilities such as the Athlone Regional Sports Centre, Athlone Town FC Stadium, and the Scoil na gCeithre Maistrí Gaelscoil.
The plans submitted today are even bigger in scale than had been anticipated.
It was expected that the development would consist of 547 units in total, but the planning application includes an additional 29 homes, bringing it to 576 dwellings in all.
Developer Alanna-Roadbridge has been working on the project in partnership with Westmeath County Council, and the bid for planning approval is being made under the Strategic Housing Development process, the mechanism designed to fast-track the delivery of large-scale developments.
If approved, the project would involve the creation of 170 new social housing units and just over 400 privately-owned homes.
A dedicated website has now been launched with full details of the plans.
Specific features of the development include a "five-storey landmark building" as well as a new Community Hub building, new public spaces, and five new connections to the Old Rail Trail Greenway located nearby.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Westmeath County Council said the planning submission represented "an important milestone" for this development.
"The project has been developed with the support of the elected members of the council and working with our stakeholders, including the Housing Agency, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the residents of Brawny," said the local authority's statement.
"The proposed development, if approved, will deliver over 170 social homes and over 400 private homes in Athlone at a location that is ideally and centrally located in terms of easy access to the broad range of services and facilities that Athlone has to offer.
"The proposed development is on 17.6 hectares of land in the ownership of Westmeath County Council, to the west of Scoil na gCeithre Máistrí and to the east and west of the existing housing at Brawny Road.
"It provides for a contemporary scheme of 576 residential units consisting of 285 houses and 291 apartments and duplexes.
"The proposed new homes vary in size and scale from two-storey housing to a five-storey landmark building at the North-West area of the site and are organised in a network of streets with nine new public green spaces."
The council went on to say that the development would be divided into "five distinct character areas" which would be linked by "an extensive green network of paths and cycle tracks," and that it would include five new connections to the Old Rail Trail Greenway.
"Vehicular access is proposed from both the Garrycastle Road (R916) and from Brawny Road and incorporates dedicated cycleways and pedestrian routes forming the 'Brawny Access Road' with the aid of funding from the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF)," said the council.
It added that a new "Community Hub building" and a new "Urban Public Space" area would be "central to the proposal" in order to help integrate it with the existing Brawny area.