An Bord Pleanála give the go ahead for 130 new houses on site where Irene White was murdered
An Bord Pleanála has given the go ahead for a new housing development in Dundalk, part of which would be located on the site of the now demolished Ice House where Irene White was murdered in April 2005.
Louth County Council had granted conditional planning permission for the proposed new Demesne Road development last September but an appeal against the decision was made by the Louth Environmental Group, as well as Brid Rogers and Eamonn and Joanne Murphy, c/o EHP Services.
Having studied the case An Bord Pleanála decided to uphold the decision to allow the development to proceed.
In making their decision the board said “the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of property in the area and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience. The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
The plans by local company Emaoifrob Limited include 130 housing units, a creche and community facilities.
As part of their application they paln to demolish and clear all existing industrial structures and hard surfacing at the former Eircom depot, the adjoining house and open space sites.
The 130 units proposed for the site will include 93 houses – 18 one beds, 51 two beds, 22 three beds and 2 four beds – in ten different house types, as well as 37 apartments made up of 18 one beds and 19 two beds in three different apartment types.
A 552sqm building with a 194sqm outdoor play area will house a creche on the ground floor and community rooms on the first floor.
Planning permission has also been secured for the widening of the access road onto the Demesne Road and junction upgrade works (new staggered, signalised traffic junction) at the intersection with Demesne Road and The Long Walk.
While the bulk of the proposed development would be on the site of the former Eircom depot, a new entrance will be installed at the site of the home which Irene White once occupied.
The house where she was murdered in April 2005 was demolished in September 2016 having been idle since her death.
At the time of her death it was reported that Irene and her husband Alan had agreed to sell Ice House to Eircom Ltd for €925,000 with the proceeds from the sale to be divided equally among them. The move was blocked in the immediate aftermath of Irene’s murder by her late mother Maureen McBride and Irene’s daughter Jennifer, who obtained an injunction preventing the sale from proceeding. This was later lifted the following month.
It was later reported that Mr White sold Ice House for €1.1 million in 2009.
The investigation into Irene’s killing has moved on in recent months with Anthony Lambe, a student from Annadrumman, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan jailed for life for her murder in January. Since then a second man, Niall Power from Gyles Quay, Riverstown has also been arrested and charged in connection with her killing and is awaiting trial at present.