Wednesday 6 January 2010

the last 10 years Part 4

So in the last of the review of the decade, I decided to look back on some of what I worked on over the last 10 years. Much of the decade was spent working with developers; Housing Schemes in Clonmel and Cashel mainly, two large Business Parks and a number of mixed used developments. There was a few one off houses and extension also added to the mix along with many reports, various submissions and masterplans.

The early years were pre-occupied with tax relief developments, much of which went nowhere as the sites were quiet challenging with protected structures and flooding issues common resulting in planner’s and developers clashing, and as a result schemes ended up non-viable. A hotel, offices and a multi storey car park on Suir Island one such project.

No such problems in Cashel, problems of a different nature were encountered there. With the exception of one site in Cashel, all the projects I was involved in were taken to An Bord Pleanala by third party appeals and fortunately in each case the decision was upheld by the Board and permission granted. In one scheme of 21 residential units the planning authority granted permission, without requesting further information, a first for me anyway, only to be taken to appeal by a third party, whom delayed the project by 6 months. Another project was delayed so long that ended up shelved.

Developments in Clonmel too, have had their share of objectors too, in one case things went against us, with the Board overturning the decision, which was a shame really, as the scheme would have been quiet attractive, with a high density a “semi-non conventional” layout, where the car and driveway did not dominate. The site was later developed with a scheme of large dwellings of much lower density with no third party objections.... members the not in my backyard brigade

Other work in and around Clonmel, included a 32 residential unit design and build scheme for a voluntary housing association, a builder’s merchant’s outlet again a design and build contract, 3 substantial housing schemes and a few one off houses and a number of extensions and an substantial extension to a Business Park.

Its hard to believe that a decade has gone by since I started working on a Business Park, in Waterford: The development is circa 34,000 sq.m of floor area spread over buildings of various sizes and uses. The Business Pak includes a driver test centre, builders’ merchant’s outlet, a number of, building contractors, and even a secure warehouse. There’s still one building to be developed on the site.

In late 2006/early 2007 I regularly travelled to Wales working with a development company. My role involved preparing sketch designs and briefs for the project architects. I also looked after preparing 3d graphics for some of the prospective clients. The role was different but interesting and I would have liked for it to develop further, however the project received some setbacks with planning, delayed things eventually leading to the project been abandoned.

I’ve detailed the last 12 months in a fair amount of detail in the blog, so I won’t go back over it again.

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