Westmeath scoops up benefits of Dublin overspill


The overspill from Dublin is causing ripples as far west as Moate, Co Westmeath, it emerged this week with the publication of the county's annual estimates. The county manager, Mr Jack Taffe, reported that the spillover from Dublin has created great demand for sites for large developments and single houses in Westmeath.

"The provision of the N4/N6 link at Kinnegad will further accentuate this demand," he said. Mullingar, Moate, Kinnegad, Rochsfordbridge and Kilbeggan are among the places experiencing the demand. The council has already gained from this expansion, with the income from planning fees more than doubling over the past four years. In 1993, the council collected £81,000 in fees. This increased to £101,000 in 1994, £153,000 in 1995, and last year the fees came to £181,000.

The amount of building this year is reflected in the level of fees collected in the first nine months - £190,000.

The number of planning applications to the council was 770 in 1994, 815 in 1995, and 1,049 in 1996. There were 924 in the first nine months of this year.

Mr Taffe said that next year would require the planning authority to review the County Development Plan, and work had already started on this review.

He said the first areas to be looked at would be nucleated settlements and the development of existing villages. Provision of appropriate services in any of these areas would be desirable, but costly.