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COUNTY MANAGER REQUESTS MICHAEL KELLY TO MAKE MAJOR CHANGES TO PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT MILLERS HILL
Donegal County Council Manager, Michael McLoone has requested Michael Kelly to make major changes to his proposed mixed use retail, cinema, office and residential development at Millers Hill behind the car park on Upper Main Street. In a six page schedule containing fifteen points which was sent to Mr Kellys agents Carr & Co, Ballybofey on 27th October 2006, the County Manager sought additional information from the Donegal Town based developer and has advised that if the request is not fully complied with within six months the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.
In a detailed response to the application, the County Manager has advised Mr Kelly that the Planning Authority has concerns regarding the height and scale of the development relative to the existing urban fabric within the Diamond and wider Donegal Town Centre area, which, given the Heritage Town status of Donegal is likely to prove overbearing and visually disproportionate and dominating given the extent of ridge heights created by the retail and apartment development.
The County Manager has also advised Mr. Kelly that these concerns apply to both the main element of the development and the Quay Street section of the project, which requires a reduction of at least one storey given its likely negative impact upon the urban fabric of the area.
He has requested Mr Kelly to submit amended proposals which reduce the mass, scale, height and bulk of the proposed main building from its current form and that the said reduction should provide for a building which does not dominate the Diamond and pier/harbour area in terms of ridge heights.
The County Manager has also raised concerns about the proximity of the proposed development to adjacent third party properties and has requested revised proposals showing sufficient buffer zones between them. Mr McLoone has said in his letter that these revised proposals have to include specific detail of graded embankments, screen planting, treatment of differential in levels and safety measures to prevent any potential exposure of members of the public to a major ravine which may constitute a health and safety hazard.
Additional issues and concerns raised in the County Managers Order relate to, and include the shortage of loading bays and turning manoeuvre facilities for delivery vans and HGVs; the impact of the traffic generated by the development both during construction and following completion; bird, animal/mammal activity on the site; noise from piling activities during construction; storm water attenuation; and the retail impact of the proposed development in Donegal Town and within towns in the wider shopping catchment area.
The Michael Kelly application is the latest major proposal in Donegal Town to be faced with a request for Further Information from the County Manager. The proposed development by Magee Clothing Limited/Keeney Construction Limited at Milltown has been the subject of two such requests, the original plans having been first submitted almost twelve months ago.