Surprise as Jansu are back

More than six years after its first planning bid, the development company Jansu has submitted a scaled down application for a mixed development at the site of the old Fruit of the Loom dye house at the Shore Front in Buncrana.

The re-submission of the application has caused something of a stir locally.

Speaking with the ‘Journal’ yesterday Nicholas Crossan, Mayor of Buncrana, said while all development in tough economic times was to be welcomed question marks remained about the suitability of the site.

The Mayor said: “I would think the town is split about 60-40 in favour of this development, but the visual impact on households in the area will be severe. Where they are planning to build is one of the most beautiful areas in the town. Any development will kill off the view of the Swilly for many homes. Right now there is an uninterrupted view of the river. It’s a cert too that there will be major traffic problems.

“If the right site was found it would be welcomed with open arms.”

An initial application submitted in 2006 was rejected by Buncrana Town Council, but a revised application was cleared by An Bord Pleanala 18 months later subject to certain conditions.

Since then, nothing has happened, leading to fears that Jansu were pulling out of the town. However, this latest application puts the site back on the agenda.

Against a background of a massive economic turndown in Inishowen - described yesterday by a leading local businessman who did not want to be named, as ‘getting seriously scary’ - the new application would see the construction of a mixed development consisting of retail and residential elements.

The plan provides for almost 4,300 square metres of retail space, with over half that given over to one anchor tenant, along with 12 smaller units, offices, a cafe and a restaurant.

The plan, which is substantially smaller than the one approved by An Bord Pleanala in 2007, seeks permission for 32 apartments of various sizes. The revised 2007 plan envisaged 50 apartments, down from an initial 70.

The total number of car parking spaces is 411, down from 558.

The revised plan also incorporates the 20 conditions set out by An Bord Pleanala in 2007.