Proposal for sportswear outlet and 24-hour gym on Headford Road

A computer-generated image of how the new fitness centre and retail outlet would look.

Plans have been drawn up for a new building housing a large sportswear outlet and 24-hour gym on a vacant site beside the IMC Cinema on the Headford Road.

Cleverson Ltd, which has purchased the brownfield site, has sought planning permission to construct the three-storey building.

The company – which is ultimately controlled by the family of hotelier and property developer John Lally – purchased the site last year.

“The proposed unit will provide for a retail store which has been designed to be a comparison sports store, offering a highly-visible position along one of the busiest thoroughfares in Galway City. The intended sports store use will benefit from the complementary use of the gym above and vice versa.

“One of the significant benefits of the development will be the improvement of the public realm within the curtilage of the building. In recent years, the site has been subjected to regular anti-social behaviour and littering, resulting in an eyesore and a detriment to the public realm along the Headford Road.

“The gym, adjacent to city centre parking allowing access to the gym either before or after work while heavy traffic dissipates, is a tested and proven model in many cities,” the application reads.

A prospective tenant for the building has already been identified.

The building will comprise a 1,782 square metre retail unit over the ground and first floors, with the main customer access being from the Galway Retail Park side, and a 750 sq m gym operating 24 hours a day on the first and second floors.

The developer does not propose to include any parking spaces for the scheme – it is contednded that the retail park has sufficient capacity, even at peak hours to accommodate the parking.

Cleverson is a member of the retail park management company and has an agreement in place for use of and access to the parking spaces. A number of cycle racks have been provided.

The previous owners of the site, Almane Properties Ltd – controlled by the Barry family – secured permission for a four-storey building with retail use on the ground floor, offices on the second floor, and four apartments on the second and third floors.