The plans have sparked anger and dismay in the Glencar area.
Many claim to have known absolutely nothing about the proposal and were not consulted before a site notice appeared wrapped around an ESB pole.
Donegal County Council is proposing to build four apartments, in two blocks and two houses at a site in the Glendale Drive in the Glencar Scotch area.
The proposed site and the proposed development described as ‘infill housing’ is on an area set aside as “open space-surface play” of one third of an acre on the original plans submitted in 2001.
Residents from the Glendale Drive, Solomon’s Manor, The Grange, The Croft, Chesnut Grove, Robb’s Lane, and the wider Glencar area have united on the issue.
Last weekend many signed petitions against the proposal. The deadline for receiving submissions to the planning office is January 7 as part of the public consultation process.
A spokesman for residents said they were hoping many more will take the time over the Christmas-New Year period to file their concerns.
“This is not a done deal and a small action by residents can make a big difference,” the spokesman said.
“We’ve also got support for the plight of residents from our local councillors,” he added.
Residents are citing density, privacy-overview, planning precedent, lack of adequate services infrastructure, the direct impact on residents and impact on the wider community along with increased traffic congestion and possible devaluation of properties as the reasons for their objections.
“The development is for a much higher density development than presently exists in the area and would not be in keeping with the pattern of development in the area. It will reduce the open space in the existing residential area,” the residents claim.
“It is not sustainable development and would not be acceptable by a private developer if submitted to the council,” they added.
Once the deadline closes (January 7) for public submissions the Chief Executive of the council is required to prepare a report and it will then be put before members of the council.
At this stage under section 179 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the members can vote to proceed, amend or vary the proposed development.
The site borders a number of private housing estates such as Solomon’s Manor, The Grange and The Croft. Glendale Drive was a turn-key development and many of the houses were purchased by the council for social housing.
There are at least three other social housing estates in the vicinity including Glendale Drive, Glendale Manor and Windmill View.
There are 52 houses already on the development, built around 2001. The apartments would stand almost eight metres high, directly overlooking neighbours, with living room accommodation on second floor levels, while the they also include a balcony measuring three metres by three and half metres. The apartments measure 617sq ft on two levels while the houses are 828 sq ft.
Under these planning regulations details of the plans are not on the council’s planning website for public browsal.
The plans were however available for inspection at council offices in Lifford and in Letterkenny up to December 12. A site notice was wrapped around an ESB pole close to the development. There was no site notice at the entrance to the estate.
In effect this is a ‘Part 8” planning application, whereby the council is applying to itself for planning under its County Development Plan.