Grant of planning approval to Cahir karting track welcomed by local councillor

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Grant of planning approval to Cahir karting track welcomed by local councillor

A Cahir councillor has welcomed An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant planning permission for a karting track in his hometown. 

Cllr Andy Moloney said the karting track proposed for Cahir Abbey Industrial Estate will be a welcome extra amenity that will help to attract more people to visit Cahir. 

For those concerned about noise from the track, he noted there were noise pollution restrictions and   mitigation measures included in the conditions attached to the planning permission for the development including a restriction on the number of karts that can operate on the track. 

An Bord Pleanala decided on October 28 to confirm Tipperary County Council’s grant of planning permission  in February last year to local firm Buttimer Engineering to develop the karting track on a 1.12 hectares site with revised conditions. 

According to the planning application, the karting track will include changing rooms and toilets, storage buildings for the karts, the hardstanding of proposed areas for the karting track and over ground gas storage tank for refuelling karts.

Tipperary County Council’s grant of permission to the project with 12 conditions attached was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Tom and Brenda Hackett of Cahir Abbey House, which adjoins the track site. 

Their primary reasons for appeal were concerns over noise pollution the gas fuelled karts would generate, the impact of light overspill from the track on adjacent properties and their fear the track would attract a large volume of extra traffic to the area. 

They argued  the conditions of planning permission Tipperary County Council imposed in relation to controlling noise pollution were inadequate.

 The Hacketts also submitted that an architectural impact assessment on the track’s impact on  Cahir Abbey House, which is a protected structure, should have been carried out. 

The An Bord Pleanála inspector, who dealt with the appeal, however, recommended that planning permission for the project be confirmed and the appeals board upheld this recommendation. It granted permission with 10 conditions attached covering the environmental, noise and light impact mitigation measures the developer must put in place for the track. 

An Bord Pleanála ruled that subject to compliance with the conditions, the karting track would “not seriously injure the amenities of residential or other property in the vicinity of the site and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

  The board reached this conclusion taking ito account the nature and scale of the proposed track and the zoning of the site for light industrial and employment related uses within which commercial sports and leisure facilities were permitted. 

The conditions include a prohibition on opening the karting track outside the hours of 12 noon and 10pm daily; restrictions on noise emissions from the facility and the monitoring of noise levels by the track owners in the event of noise complaints. The track will not be allowed open until acoustic perimeter fencing is installed. 

An Bord Pleanála has  stipulated that no more than 10 karts  occupy the track at any time, and only four stroke gas powered karts are allowed  while a public address and external bells systems are prohibited.

 And it has directed the lighting installed at the site shall be cowled and directed to reduce light scatter outside the track’s boundaries.