As of 16 August, there have been no obvious surveys of the site by potential buyers. Further, the housing market in County Meath is starting to fall after 5 boom years, e.g. the Independent newspaper reports that prices fell by 2.5% in the three months May to June 2019. It will be interesting to see how long Owr Construction will holdout before reducing the Euro 550,000 asking price for the site – probably the longer the better in terms of delaying site clearance and the start of construction work.
In the event that site is visited, we will of course attempt to speak to the visitors in order to explain local opposition to the completely unsuitable development. If a buyer or potential buyer is identified, we will try to arrange a formal meeting with them at the earliest opportunity.
Unfortunately it seems very unlikely that I will be able to re-enable the on-line posting of comments without setting up accounts, an overhead I don’t want to take on. Every day dozens of unsuitable spam comments are being submitted, also attempts are being made every few minutes to hack in to this site. I don’t think we can blame Owr for that!
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 adverts include two low-resolution photos, copied below:
A few immediate comments:
- The planning permission is not marked as finalised on MCC website – although probably not a major obstacle
- The asking price is multiple times the price paid by Gus Whelan, MD of Owr for the site. [Will double check exact figures and update]
- An extraordinarily high price for such small site – a peak of the market bubble with icing?!
- Very huge premium compared to other local properties on larger plots.
- Opportunity for local residents to contact potential buyers and explain our concerns over proposed plans
We received a letter today from An Bord Pleanála. I’m afraid it’s very bad news, they have granted permission for Owr to construct the proposed three-storey building on the site. An appalling and almost believable decision – judicial appeal next? A scan of the letter is here: ABP Decision – Seagrave
MCC and Owr/Construction have submitted additional information to An Bord Pleanala. ABP have therefore given us the opportunity to do the same. The letter can be found here: ABP Decision – Seagrave Appeal-RA180833 Final 121018 DP. It is hopefully a good summary of the serious concerns of local residents.
Owr Construction very belatedly requested a meeting with local residents. This was held on 6 November and it certainly clarified some things as far as local residents are concerned.
Given that the meeting was requested by Owr Construction, we had hoped for at least some awareness of the concerns of local residents (which have been extensively documented in numerous submissions to MCC and ABP going back 16 months now), and the presentation of some positive suggestions as to how these might be addressed.
However the MD of Owr Construction – Mr Whelan – was totally clear (on multiple occasions) that he would not consider any changes that involved revisiting the planning application. As such, the gap between what Mr Whelan wants to build on the plot, and what existing residents can accept, appears very difficult to bridge.
Local residents are thus fully behind the planning appeal to An Bord Pleanala, and are starting consider options in the unlikely event that this unsuccessful. We also intend to make clear to potential buyers that they are unwelcome, and will NOT be able to avail of facilities in neighbouring private estates such as green areas and parking.
When the granting of Planning Application MCC Reg. Ref RA/170815 was appealed to An Bord Pleanala in early July 2018, Owr immediately withdrew the application. During the rest of the month Owr then made a rapid submission of four new applications to MCC, ending with RA/180833, which – to quote the application – “replicates … RA/170815”. Tracking all these events and responding with submissions has presented a serious and costly challenge; it seems to represent a legal but undesirable “gaming” of the planning system by Owr and their consultants – Thornton O’Connor Town Planning.
On 18 September, MCC granted RA/180833. This was inevitable as any other decision would have implied accepting that they made a serious mistake in granting RA/170815. The decision was appealed to ABP on 12 October. We now await to see if Owr again withdraw their application, or decided to letter the appeal take its course.
Please see the MCC planning website for the latest situation, and copies of scanned documents: http://www.eplanning.ie/MeathCC/AppFileRefDetails/ra170815/0
By an order dated 14 June 2018, Meath County Council decided to give conditional planning permission to Owr Construction for their application RA/170815 – a “three storey residential development”. The conditions require only very minor changes to the proposal, the vast majority are standard T&C’s applicable to construction and works. See http://www.eplanning.ie/MeathCC/AppFileRefDetails/RA170815/0
To save time, I’ve posted these without any editing and reorientation to improve clarity.