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Clock is ticking on permission for ATU student sports building


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Clock is ticking on permission for ATU student sports building Clock is ticking on permission for ATU student sports building

From the Galway City Tribune –  Planning permission to construct a student building opposite the former GMIT on Dublin Road will expire this coming summer without a block being laid – almost 10 years after it was granted.

The Governing Body of the new organisation, Atlantic Technological University has decided to submit a fresh planning application for the development.

Planning permission for the project expires in June, and the third level institute has not yet commenced work on it.

Proceeding with the contract for the work “at this late stage was deemed high risk”, according to ATU.

The Governing Body and ATU management, in a joint statement, said the project would be “high priority” in this New Year.

A sub-committee reporting to the Governing Body has been established, and ATU management has been instructed to “re-engage without delay with the planning process”.

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.

The Governing Body said it was cognisant of difficulties, “including inflation” regarding procurement and construction. The “lack of an appropriate borrowing framework” for technological universities was also a hindrance to ATU’s ambitions.

But the Governing Body said that the delivery of this capital investment “to facilitate our growing student population will remain a top priority”.

The decision to proceed with a fresh planning application was taken at a special meeting of ATU’s Governing Body before Christmas.

The building was initially granted planning permission in 2013 but it was not built, due to a shortfall in funding at GMIT.

In 2018, the City Council granted an extension of time to build the project, but that expires in this June without the work having commenced.

The initial application was opposed by residents and was granted on appeal by An Bórd Pleanála.

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