Work to refurbish the iconic Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill will likely not go ahead until at least next winter, with the first stage of the planning process only now underway.
Galway City Council has called for public submissions on its plan to rehabilitate the much-loved diving platform following an open meeting in which members of the public gave their views of what should happen to the protected structure.
The upgrade would involve new handrails, cleaning and repainting the tower, replacement of the damaged stairs and the provision of a removable lifeguard shelter. The structure itself will also be reinforced to ensure its long-term survival.
Observations can be received until June 22 and these will be collated into a report by the planning department before coming back before Galway City Councillors for a vote on whether to accept, reject or amend the plan.
That is most likely to be at the September meeting. After that the project would have to go out for public tender, which also takes months.
“Part of this project is to ensure the least disruption as possible so it is more likely to begin next winter or spring to ensure it is ready in time for the bathing season in 2018,” a spokesman for the local authority stated.
The revamp could see the tower – which dates back to the 1950s – closed for up to three months.
Work was carried out on the shelter close to the tower some years ago but there has been local disquiet about how shabby the structure has looked in recent years.
An online petition ‘Give Salthill Diving Tower a Makeover’ was set up calling for action from the Council.
An early estimate for the work was put at €100,000.