A large protest was held by residents of Bath Road and Lambeecher estate in Balbriggan, to protest at the possibility of planning permission being granted for a four-storey nursing to be located at the beach near Bath Road in the town.
Public representatives, Cllrs Tony Murphy and Gráinne Maguire, as well as local residents attended the meeting.
Cllr Murphy spoke to the County Leader about problems the proposed nursing home would bring to the area. He said, “It has to be said from the outset that this site as it is, is an eye sore. However this site location is very sensitive and frames the beach area of Balbriggan and it needs to be protected from over development.
The height of this proposed nursing home building exceeds the height of the railroad embankment by two stories plus. In my opinion this should not be allowed. There would be a physical change in the skyline view travelling down Lambeecher estate towards the sea.”
“The residents have major concerns with regard to the construction phase of the proposed project. The site is compromised with limited access through a tunnel, which can only accommodate one vehicle at a time and it’s at the end of a ramped road that cuts through a housing estate, with increased traffic flow to and from the site if the building gets the go ahead. Lambeecher estate residents have no issue with a nursing home development but strongly object to this size on a building on such a sensitive location,” he said.
Monica Harford, Chairperson of Bath Road/Lambeecher Residents Association said, “We are not against the idea of a nursing home in Balbriggan – far from it, but we are against it being built on this site because of the volume of traffic it will bring. There is only one access road, and this is only suitable for present traffic in this estate. We are very disappointed because we strongly opposed the last application and we are disappointed that the developer made no effort to meet with residents at all. We are hoping that the County Council will see our point of view, because we had an onsite meeting with Council officials and one of the issues raised was the volume of traffic that’s coming in, due to the two schools and the all-weather pitch. So we were very surprised that neither the Planning Department of the County Council, nor the developer made any effort to meet us,” she concluded.
Eoin McGarry, a local resident whose home will be directly affected by the new nursing home told the County Leader, “The new building will block out the whole view. We’re located on the sea front and we will now only get a narrow view of the harbour. I’d be worried sick about my grandchildren coming to visit because of the dangers of traffic visiting the nursing home.”
Local Cllr Gráinne Maguire said, “There’s genuine concern among residents that somebody will be killed or seriously injured due to the heavy traffic. We need to address the traffic problem before any development takes place on that site. The land owner has just lodged a planning request, but as things stand, a bin lorry or a utilities vehicle will not be able to access this site under the very narrow railway bridge. There are many questions that need to be asked and I think it is unfair of the Council to allow planning permission for an area that has issues attached to it that cannot be addressed,” she said.