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Knockalla families express fears over proposed build  30.09.08

A COMMUNITY of 24 families in Buncrana have said they are "frightened" that a proposed development close to their homes will have a negative effect on their quality of life. The Knockalla Drive Residents' Association are appealing to local planners and engineers to turn down a proposal for three two-storey terraced townhouses with basement parking and one block of four apartments on a 0.392 acre site behind their homes in Ardaravan. The application also requests permission to renovate an existing terraced house from a three-bed to a two-bed property, which the families do not oppose.
  Some of the Knockalla residents who are concerned about the proposed development. Included third row back, Colm McLaughlin and Bridie McDaid.
The residents' main concern is that the development will require the construction of two access roads to the site. One access road would exit directly onto a narrow service lane currently only used by a small number of families to reach the back of their homes and to receive deliveries of utilities such as coal and gas. However, the second access road is the cause of most concern to the group. It would exit just below the service lane onto what the families describe as "the square", where local children played over 25 years and which is now used by the grandchildren of the former council estate.
Knockalla Drive Residents' Association (KDRA) chairperson, Colm McLaughlin said the families were "very frightened" about what the local planners might decide.
"We are a community of 25 years' standing and we feel we are entitled to the quality of life we've had after all this time. We want to stress we are not against development but we genuinely feel that this is the wrong development for that small site and this area," he said. The families have lodged a signed petition with Buncrana Town Council. KDRA treasurer Bridie McDaid has also lodged a personal objection to the proposal. Her home is one of those closest to the development site and she is also concerned about the demolition of at least part of a 100-year old hedgerow to facilitate the build. She said as well as providing key habitats for wild birds and mammals, the mature hedgerow also offers privacy to her and other residents. The developer was contacted and offered a comprehensive right of reply. This was rejected.
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