Council planners rule playing pitches would be ‘traffic hazard’

The rejected plans for the pitches at Carnmore.

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”.