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An Bord Pleanála to rule on four-storey retail and office building proposal


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

An Bord Pleanála to rule on four-storey retail and office building proposal An Bord Pleanála to rule on four-storey retail and office building proposal

From the Galway City Tribune – The backers of a proposed four-storey retail, restaurant and office development in the city’s ‘West End’ have asked An Bord Pleanála to overturn a decision refusing planning permission.

Last month, residents in the area were told they development – which they felt would be out of character and impact on their quality of life – had been turned down by the City Council.

Planning permission had been sought for the demolition of a number of existing buildings at Munster Avenue and the construction of a four-storey building that would accommodate retail on the ground floor along with a restaurant and office space on the floors above.

The application was submitted by Munster Avenue Developments Limited, who stated that the site represented an area of under-utilisation on the fringe of the city centre.

The company accepted that the site was unsuitable for residential purposes and their proposal was primarily for small enterprise and multiple office use.

According to the application, the development proposes to exclusively rely on public transport and cycling and not for private car use.

The building proposed would have had windows above eye level to avoid and prevent overlooking while facilitating light and ventilation.

The large site consists of a number of properties including an existing garage and workshop building, a smaller derelict commercial building and a number of outbuildings and stores, all of which are in poor condition.

On the opposite side of the street, there is a line of 20th century houses which form the character of the area, according to the planning report. The Blue Teapot Theatre is located on the adjoining site.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

There were eight submissions from local residents to the planning application and they all opposed the proposed development.

Submissions stated that the excessive height of the proposed development was not in line with the existing dwellings in the area.

Concern was expressed that the scale and size of the proposed four-storey building would be out of character with the area.

Residents said it would have a significant adverse impact on adjoining property owners’ quality of life and also impact on other local amenities.

Planning permission was refused by Galway City Council for the proposed development on the grounds of its excessive scale, height and density. It would represent over-development on the site, the Council said.

According to planners, the design and visual appearance of the proposed building would provide “an overbearing expression” onto the streetscape.

They considered it visually dominant and offered little relationship with the surrounding urban fabric. This, they stated, would greatly detract from the character of the area.

Planners said that, if granted, the proposed development would result in “a detrimental impact on the visual integrity of the streetscape” and would set an undesirable precedent.

The applicants also failed to submit a mobility management plan regarding the implications that may arise for traffic and pedestrian safety. It was not possible to ensure that a traffic hazard would not result if the development was allowed to proceed, the Council said.

That decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanála, who are due to make a judgement in November.

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