Concerns that plans for a massive residential development for Belmont, the former Spicer-owned lands on the Dublin Road in Navan, could lead to anti-social behaviour and a lack of privacy were expressed at a meeting of Navan Municipal District last week.
Councillors warned that a proposed alleyway could give rise to anti-social behaviour and that a three storey complex on a hill above existing houses would ruin their privacy.
The councillors were at pains to point out that they welcomed proposals for new housing in the area but had concerns over some aspects of the development.
A company called Coindale Limited has applied to An Bord Pleanála for 544 dwellings, made up of 260 houses and 284 apartments, as well as two creches and open space areas, on a site of just over 15 hectares.
The development would have three access points and an upgrade to a junction on Dublin Road.
The strategic housing development application means it bypasses Meath Co Council's planners and goes straight to An Bord Pleanála for a decision. However, views expressed by councillors at last week's meeting would be submitted to the planning board for consideration.
Cllr Emer Tóibín said she wasn't opposed to houses and apartments being built but there was no adherence to the council's rules about how close residences can be to existing housing.
She also warned that the apartments on a hill overlooking houses on the Dublin road would overshadow the existing buildings.
"I cannot imagine how Academy Street will cope with all the traffic that will come with this development," she said.
Cllr Padraig Fitzsimons pointed out that the residents on the Dublin road had lived there for many, many years.
"Bungalows that have been there 50 years or more will be overlooked by duplex apartments on the brow of a hill.
“I feel very sorry for the people that live there.
"We know houses are needed. I don't have a problem with that, but people would like to have more privacy."
Cllr Francis Deane said a flood risk was a big issue with him, as the proposed development is right beside the Boyne.
Cllr Alan Lawes said that some of the existing residents will find their privacy totally gone.
"There will be buildings looking down into their kitchens, bedrooms, back gardens.
"There are walkways in the development that will give rise to anti-social behaviour," he warned.
Cllr Tommy Reilly expressed concern about proposals for a walkway down the side of one woman's house and the lack of facilities such as a football pitch or community centre.
"I don't want to see another area where children won't have a place to play," he said.
Director of Services, Kevin Stewart said the council would be sending a comprehensive report to An Bord Pleanála.
The proposed development will include 18 two-bedhouses, 207 three-bed houses, 35 four-bedroom houses, 198 apartments with balconies in five apartment buildings, comprising 46 one-bedroom apartments and 152 two-bed apartments; 15 two-bed duplex apartments with terraces or balconies and 15 three-bedroom duplex apartments in three three-storey duplex buildings; eight five dwelling three-storey corner blocks, each comprising a single one-bed apartment, two two-bed apartments and two three-bed units, two eight dwelling three storey corner blocks, each comprising four one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units. There is also provision for two creches, playground areas and communal open space areas.
Access to the site will be from three new junctions onto Academy Street, and a new pedestrian access onto the Dublin Road as well as 875 car parking spaces and 581 cycle spaces, as well as northern vehicular access to also facilitate future adjoining school site campus.