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CITY TRIBUNE

Council planners rule playing pitches would be ‘traffic hazard’

Declan Tierney

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A multi-million euro pitch development planned for the Carnmore area has been rejected by planners on the grounds that it would create a traffic hazard along the airport road.

And, contrary to speculation, Galwegians RFC have distanced themselves from the application which was submitted to Galway County Council by millionaire developer Liam Mulryan.

It was suggested that the club would relocate to the 28-acre Carnmore site if planning was granted but ‘Wegians have stated that there was no arrangement in place to do this.

“We have no deal done with Liam Mulryan”, stated Galwegians Club President Michael Tarpey when contacted by the Galway City Tribune.

Earlier this year Galwegians sold their 9.76-acre property to local developer Neil Armstrong – the lands are zoned residential and could accommodate around 150 houses.

The sale is subject to the club finding alternative accommodation and that is how they were linked to the Mulryan development of five pitches, a clubhouse and parking for more than 120 vehicles at Ballintemple.

The site for the pitch development is located close to Galway Airport and the planning application included letters of consent from local landowners for the development.

The application itself does not make reference to the facility being used for rugby purposes but one of the submissions to the plan makes mention of Galwegians. But the club has clearly stated that the application was not made on its behalf.

However, if planning permission had been secured by Liam Mulryan, it would not have prevented the club from considering the Carnmore location as their new home.

Galway County Council have refused planning permission on the grounds the proposed development would result in increased traffic movements along the Monivea Road at this location.

Planners ruled that it would interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic along this road and cause a traffic hazard. It would also depreciate property values in the immediate vicinity.

They also said that the proposed pitches would be located on unzoned lands along a heavily-trafficked regional road where development is restricted to the essential needs of the particular locality.

Agents on behalf of the applicant, Mr Mulryan, informed planners that the pitches would not be used during peak morning and evening traffic times.

There was some opposition to the application. The Killeen Brockagh Ballintemple Water Scheme said that the development would be taking a supply and therefore could reduce the water pressure to local houses.

In their opinion the proposed development was premature until such time as the water supply in the area was upgraded.

They were not objecting to the development itself but felt that in the current circumstances it would impact on their “very fragile water supply”.

CITY TRIBUNE

Footfall down by 80% in Galway city centre

Stephen Corrigan

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Shop Street on Ladies Day of the Galway Races

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Footfall in the city centre was down by about 80% during what would normally be a bumper three weeks in the city, with this year’s Arts Festival and Summer Racing Festival both falling foul of Covid-19 restrictions.

Data compiled by the Galway City Business Association (GCBA) – which is a measure of mobile phone users at various points in the city centre – shows that there were over half a million fewer movements recorded during Race Week this year, representing around a 77% decline on the same week in 2019.

While the figures are by no means a conclusive count of individuals in the city, they do provide a good guide as to how many people are traversing the main thoroughfares over an extended period.

During the second week of the Arts Festival in 2019, just short of 900,000 movements were recorded in what was the city’s single busiest seven days of the year.

However, with the absence of the Big Top and various other Arts Festival venues this year, just over 150,000 movements were recorded in the same week this year.

Well-known city businessman and GCBA member Anthony Ryan said that the situation was gradually improving, but it was obviously a very different Race Week this year.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council orders removal of new footbridge

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The installation of a footbridge over the Middle River at Newtownsmyth has led Galway City Council to warn the adjacent property owner to remove the structure, or face legal proceedings.

Property developer John Curley, who owns the commercial unit involved at Abhainn na mBradán, has received instruction from City Hall to have the bridge removed by today (Friday) in what the Galway City Tribune understands is being treated as a ‘extremely serious breach’ of planning regulations.

Mr Curley told this newspaper that the €25,000 bridge could not be removed this week as his architect was on holidays, and he was still considering what to do about the Council’s order.

Mr Curley said businessman Eric Furey had opened a new café in the building two weeks ago – the building also houses Born Clothing and Papa Rich restaurant.

The bridge had been installed to coincide with the opening of Roots Café and both Mr Curley and Mr Furey argued that it was crucial to the business’ survival that there was access from the busy canal walkway.

“We are going to fight this,” said Mr Curley, adding that it had been their intention to seek retention for the bridge, but that had been ruled out by city planners who refused to give permission to utilise public land on the far side of the canal.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council said: “Immediately on becoming aware of the installation of this structure across the canal, Galway City Council Planning Department requested the immediate removal of the structure.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Anger over illegal parking of camper vans in Salthill

Enda Cunningham

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Camper vans illegally parked on Rockbarton Road this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has admitted that it is difficult to enforce bylaws banning the parking of caravans and camper vans on roads in Salthill.

It follows complaints from elected representatives and local residents again this Summer in relation to illegal dumping and ‘unsightly’ parking on the Promenade and alongside Leisureland.

Under the Council’s own Parking Control Bylaws 2009, parking of ‘temporary dwellings’ (which includes caravans, mobile homes, tents and any structure whether on wheels or not) is prohibited on the Prom; Quincentennial Drive (behind Toft Carpark); Rockbarton Road (adjacent to Leisureland) and on the Western Distributor Road. Council carparks are also off limits.

Local area councillor Donal Lyons said the problem seemed to be worse this year, which he believed is due to holidaying staycationers.

Councillor Peter Keane said that it is a ‘small few’ people that are giving caravaners a bad name.

“We welcome holidaymakers, but let them go into the caravan parks where proper services are provided, such as electricity and water.”

A spokesperson for Galway City Council said that the local authority’s experience was that it has proved difficult to enforce the parking ban over the years.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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