Verdict on Connaught Street project postponed until summer
A final decision on one of the most significant projects proposed for Athlone’s Connaught Street in decades has been delayed after the developer was granted a three-month extension to submit further information to council.
It relates to Ledbro Ltd’s eye-catching proposal for a five-storey residential building with a retail unit spread over two blocks at 20 Connaught Street, Harry’s Lane and 7 Patrick Street.
The developer had to respond to eleven points of further information requested by the local authority by April 1, however, a spokesman for Crawford Architecture, the planning agents for the project, confirmed to the Westmeath Independent that it had requested an extension of time. submit additional data to enable a final decision to be made. The Cork-based company said the new deadline was July 8 and it expected to file a response on time.
On October 1, the local authority asked the claimant to file revised plans as it said the proposed density and plot ratio were “too excessive” on a constrained site, and the scale and the design “do not represent the optimal urban design solution” for this plot.
Westmeath County Council planners, who were also unhappy with the height and yard of the proposal, asked for revised plans to fit in with the existing streetscape and adjacent buildings.
He also requested an architectural conservation report, as the site is within an architectural conservation area as designated in the Athlone Town Development Plan.
In addition, the council requested that a proper assessment be carried out in accordance with the Habitats Directive, a bat survey and an archaeological impact assessment of the site.
First filed in August, the ambitious plan covers 29 apartments, the majority of two-bed units, a retail unit, semi-basement parking, amenity space and common open space on the site of 0.12 hectares.
This would involve the demolition of an abandoned two-storey public house and a shed.
The main building is made up of four floors with a penthouse level overlooking Connaught Street and Harry’s Lane. It would be laid out with six apartments per floor on levels 1 to 3, three units on the ground floor and five on level four. On level four, the building steps back to the north and west to create a penthouse level, which according to planning documents would allow for generous balconies.
A separate three-story apartment building on Patrick Street has one unit per floor, all with their own access door.
The basement apartment here would be accessed from St. Patrick, while the ground floor units on the first floor are accessed through a large landscaped courtyard in the center, according to the plans.
The developer, Ledbro Ltd, argued that the major mixed-use development proposed for the Connaught Street area of Athlone would form the basis of a new “urban renewal scheme” which would remove derelict industrial buildings and replace them with ” professionally managed accommodation. built to the highest standards. The proposal attracted four submissions, two from government departments and two local submissions.