The City Council has just 30 days to complete a plan and vision for the urban area that could determine its future development over the next 20 years and potentially transform it into the ‘Dublin of the West’.
City Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, spelled it out to councillors this week that the submission to be presented to the National Planning Framework (NPF) by March 16, would be one of the most important documents ever prepared by them.
“This will map out a future for Galway city between now and 2040, impacting on jobs, education, housing and infrastructure.
“Galway needs to be categorised as a Tier Two city and it is vitally important that the elected representatives of the City Council have an input into the future growth and vision for the city,” Brendan McGrath said at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
He said that the city area would require ‘thousands more houses’ as well as catering for huge commuter numbers to Galway, a daily figure that currently stands at 22,000.
“We need Galway to be a Tier Two city. It’s a ‘no-brainer’. Unless we have the city thriving, then the regional towns and villages won’t thrive either.”
Mayor of Galway, Cllr Noel Larkin, told the Galway City Tribune that it was a case of everyone knuckling down for the next month to help put together the strongest possible case for Galway in the National Planning Framework [the policy replacing the National Spatial Strategy seeking to have a balanced economic developments across the country].
“We do need to think of ‘building up’ [higher buildings] and getting people living back in the heart of the city. We also have to look at the lack of available office space in the city at a time when many UK-based financial services outlets are looking at locations in Ireland due to Brexit,” said Mayor Larkin.