Apartment project for Athlone's Connaught Street scaled back

A proposed apartment development at Connaught Street in Athlone has been scaled back, with the number of homes being reduced from 29 to 21, and the building's height also being lowered.

The revision of the plans was regarded by the council as "significant further information" and it has resulted in a new period of public consultation getting underway.

The decision on whether or not to grant planning permission for the development, which had been due this month, has now been deferred to a later date.

The developer, Ledbro Ltd, submitted a planning application in August of last year for one of the most significant redevelopment projects on the westside street in many years.

It proposed the demolition of a derelict two-storey pub and a shed, which would be replaced by a 29-unit apartment development arranged in two blocks on a site at 20 Connaught Street, 7 Patrick Street, and Harry's Lane.

The project also included a retail unit, amenity space, communal open space and a semi-basement carpark.

Westmeath County Council subsequently raised concerns about what it felt was an "overly excessive" density of apartments on the 0.12 hectare site.

The local authority also indicated it was not satisfied with the proposed design and height of the project.

In response, Ledbro Ltd has now reduced the total number of apartments, from 29 to 21, and has also lowered the height of the development, from 4/5 storeys to 3/4 storeys.

Further information documents which were submitted by the developer in relation to the project indicated that a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom apartment in the development would be made available to the council for social or affordable housing, and that these apartments would have an "indicative cost" in the region of €350,000 per unit.

Other reports submitted in response to the council's request for further information included an appropriate assessment screening report which concluded that the project would not impact on any environmentally sensitive sites within a 15km radius.

A sunlight, daylight and shadow assessment report was also submitted, which concluded that properties adjoining the development would "generally not be affected" by it.

The developer is planning to build the apartments to a high standard of energy efficiency, stating that an A2 energy rating would be targeted.

Members of the public have five weeks, from the date when the further information was received by the council, in which they can make submissions or observations on the revised plans.