Former €100m site is now the scene of anti-social behaviour

Members of Galway Fire and Rescue Service entering the 'Kenny lands' on the Western Distributor Road during a fire.

The receivers managing a 16-acre landbank on the Western Distributor Road have complained of arson and serious anti-social behaviour on the site.

Declan Taite and Anne O’Dwyer of Duff & Phelps were appointed receivers to the so-called ‘Kenny lands’ opposite the Gateway Galway retail complex.

They have sought permission to retain security fencing which was erected around the site.

The receivers said the fencing was erected “to secure the site from continuous trespassing, which in turn has led to multiple incidents of serious anti-social behaviour including the starting of fires on repeated occasions”.

“This has become a major concern of neighbouring residents, with the fire authority being called to the site on a number of occasions to put out fires.

“It is acknowledged that the existing security fencing is not a permanent solution, however in the short to medium-term it is a sensible solution to safely secure the site and prevent ongoing trespassing and anti-social behaviour,” the application reads.

In 2005, the land was valued at around €100 million after city planners rezoned it from residential use to enterprise, light industry and commercial.

At the time, the Kenny Group – which held the lands thorough an entity called ‘Model Investment Partnership – drew up preliminary plans for a €350 million development with 30,000 square feet of retail space anchored by Tesco with 70 residential units overhead.

The development was also to include a 150-bed hotel, restaurant, bar, take-aways, 10-screen cinema, nursing home post office, bank, filling station and funeral parlour.