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Planning refused for houses on River Finn flood plain

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DONEGAL County Council has refused planning permission for a “highly vulnerable development” of five luxury houses on a flood plain on the edge of the River Finn in Ballybofey.

The owner of the 10.2 acre site at Navenny, Ms Pamela Masterson, had sought to demolish a number of partially constructed houses on the ghost estate to make way for 14 large detached homes as well as a riverside walk.

The largest houses were to be six ‘four-bed plus’ detached homes measuring 199.86 sq m (2,151 sq ft).

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In what is described as a ‘split decision’, planners gave the go-ahead for just nine of the 14 houses, and also refused permission for the walk.

At the height of the boom in 2005, the council granted permission for 34 houses and 22 duplex apartments as well as a riverside amenity walk on the same site to local developers, Thomas Doherty and Michael McMenamin.

There was one objection to the current application from a local resident and political representation was made by Councillor Patrick McGowan.

The nearby resident argued that the entire site is located on a flood plan and is at risk of flooding with associated consequences.

In their submission, the Department of the Arts, Heritage and Local Government (DAHLG) expressed concerns that part of the site was located within the River Finn Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and had the potential to “significantly impact” on it.

In making their decision, council planners said the proposed riverside amenities, walks and landscape areas and the dwellings No.1-5 are within or adjoining an area identified as being subject to a ‘one in 100 year’ flood event.

For full report, see today’s (Friday) print edition of the Donegal News.

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