Residents Campaign Against a Proposed Development on Fairyhouse Road, Rotoath

This website is administered by local residents opposing the excessive and unsuitable development of a small site at the corner of Seagrave Hall and Fairyhouse Road, in Ratoath, County Meath.

On Wednesday 12 July 2017 a Site Notice for a Planning Application (RA170815) appeared in Ratoath stating:

“Owr Construction Limited intends to apply for permission for development on this 0.1132 Ha site … The proposed development is for: “for a three storey residential development comprising a terrace of 4 No. 4 bed dwellings”

An examination of the application showed that Owr wanted to shoehorn a large three-storey building in to a site (top-right in the photo) similar in size to the plots of neighbouring bungalows:

An initial assessment of the planning application by Meath County Council (MCC) identified many serious issues with the design of the proposed development.   In August 2017, MCC asked Owr to submit a revised proposal for a smaller two-storey building.  Instead the company submitted a proposal for an even larger three-storey building which would dominate the locality and tower over an existing adjacent bungalow:

This high density, three-storey, sixteen-bedroom building is completely unsuitable and inappropriate for the location.  Its excessive size and height, limited open spaces and inadequate car parking means that there will be a very negative impact on existing residents in the area.   The proposed development is not compatible with the A1 zoning of the site, which has the objective: “To protect and enhance the amenity of developed residential communities.”

47 local residents signed submissions made to MCC against this unsuitable development, and these were supported by Councillor Nick Killian who personally made a submission.  However, to the astonishment of local residents and the Councillor, MCC granted the revised planning application with [minor] conditions in June 2018.  When this was appealed to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) in early July 2018,Owr immediately withdrew their application.  Owr then made in rapid succession four new planning applications for the site to MCC, the last being RA/180833 – essentially a repetition of the enlarged three-storey building.

On 18 September, MCC granted RA/180833.   This was appealed to ABP and a letter submitted in December 2018 asking ABP to uphold the appeal can be found here.  On 23 April 2019 ABP rejected the appeal, providing no explanation of their reasoning for this.

In July 2019, Foley Auctioneers advertised on behalf of Owr Construction the site as being for sale with “full planning permission granted for 4 Large Homes”.  See:

The asking price is €550,000 which is extraordinarily high for such a small and cramped site.   It is also presumably a multiple of the valuation in 2017, when the site had planning permission for two detached houses.  Unsurprising the adverts fail to mention major problems such as:

  • the line of the southern site boundary shown on plans is disputed
  • that the trunks of many of the fully grown trees proposed to be cut down are not on the site
  • that despite the claimed “full planing permission”, Owr has not been granted finalized planning permission from MCC
  • the lack of public transport, particularly to Dublin
  • the waiting lists at grossly over-crowded Ratoath schools and college
  • all the issues mentioned above, and others and listed in the appeal to ABP
  • the opposition of local residents to this completely unsuitable and excessive development

The image above is taken from the adverts published by Foley Auctioneers, the resolution is very low and no details can be made out – very odd given that even a modest phone camera can take a photo many times larger.  Nevertheless, the image hints at big and small problems such as the dangerously hidden entrance on the right, the lack of provision for waste bins, and the non-viability of the building design if the aggressively defined southern boundary (to the left) is indeed wrongly placed.

Please see the MCC planning website for the latest situation, and copies of scanned documents.

Spam:  Because of numerous spam posts (dozens a day!) and continuous hacking attempts I have reluctantly disabled comments.  Please contact me directly (details to the right) you would like to make a comment or suggestion.