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City planners reject proposal to turn house into apartments

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Planners have turned down a proposal to demolish a terraced house in Salthill to make way for a block of apartments – on the grounds that it would depreciate the value of other neighbouring properties.

John Lillis of Tipsy Taverns had sought permission to demolish No 12 Lower Salthill, to make way for an apartment block with seven residential units, parking area and amenity space.

Planners said the demolition of the house, to make way for an apartment building, would not make a positive contribution to the area’s urban design and would represent a major intervention into and redevelopment of the urban fabric.

They added that the provision of ‘single aspect apartments’ on the second floor would “seriously injure the amenities of the area and of property in the vicinity and that of future occupants”.

Planners also expressed concerns that the redevelopment would lead to a density of development which is out of character with the prevailing pattern of residential development in the area.

“It would therefore seriously injure the residential amenities and depreciate the value of property in the area by virtue of its location.”

The Council also ruled that the applicant had failed to demonstrate the vehicles could safely access the rear of the site, and there was insufficient parking proposed.

“The proposed development would result in a traffic hazard, encourage illegal parking which would endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard and obstruction of road users and would be injurious to public safety,” planners said.

The Council added it was not satisfied that the applicant had sufficient estate or legal interest in the access laneway for the purposes of making a planning application.

According to an engineer’s report submitted with the application, the building was originally to be refurbished, but it was found to be in poor structural condition and demolition was recommended.

A total of eight objections – including from the Lower Salthill Residents’ Association – were received to the plans on the grounds of poor design, overshadowing, traffic and parking issues and insufficient open space within the site.

Jim Higgins, Heritage Officer with Galway City Council said: “In my view the building is of heritage value, part of an important terraced group and should not be demolished.

“It also abuts the Nile lodge site (a Protected Structure) and has an impact on that site. In my view, the building should be re-roofed and restored. Its demolition would badly affect the streetscape and integrity of the terrace it forms part of,” said Mr Higgins.

At the moment the building – which was purchased by Mr Lillis for €420,000 – houses three apartments.

CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Three years on and ‘Changing Places’ facility on Salthill Promenade still not open

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Clodagh Higgins at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money. Work on the project only began last February, despite initial predictions that the facility would be open in January last year.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The wait for accessible, specialised toilet facilities at Ladies Beach in Salthill goes on – three years after they were ‘prioritised’ by city councillors.

Galway City Council has confirmed to the Tribune this week that the ‘Changing Places’ facility at Ladies Beach is still not open.

Construction of the facility began almost a year ago, at the end of February 2022.

The local authority confirmed that some €135,600 has been spent on the unit, which is not yet open to the public.

“The initial stages of construction went well, with the facility now largely in place. There are a number of outstanding snags to be completed before the facility can open.

“Galway City Council is liaising with the contractor to complete out these snags, with a view to opening the facility as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

The local authority did not elaborate on what ‘snags’ were delaying the project.

But in January, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, suggested that staffing issues were to blame for the delay.

(Photo: Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins, at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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