Supporting Local News

Councillors angry at late notice on plan for 165 new homes

Members of Ballinasloe Municipal Council are incensed over the delay in informing them about a large housing development proposed for the outskirts of the town.

Because that now leaves them with less than a week to make submissions to the application for the development of 165 residential units at Dunlo, Ballinasloe. The 16-acre site is adjacent to the Tesco outlet.

It is a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application meaning that it goes directly to An Bord Pleanála as opposed to it being decided on by the planning section of Galway County Council given the scale of what is proposed.

The members of Ballinasloe Municipal Council have an opportunity to make their views known to An Bord Pleanála on the development but they are angry that they are being given so little time to do so.

They are now holding an emergency meeting today (Thursday) to discuss the proposed development and much have their submissions and observations in by next Tuesday.

Chairperson of Ballinasloe Municipal Council, Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) expressed her annoyance that the elected members are being given so little opportunity to consider the matter and asked officials present what was their role.

She said that as there was no site notice erected, the proposed development came to their attention by members of the public who were expressing concern about certain aspects of the plan.

“None of us were notified by planners about this development until very recently which is really not good enough. We do not have the sufficient time to get the feedback or views from the public. The system of notification is flawed,” said Cllr Parsons.

Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) agreed and said that the level of information coming to councillors from the planning department of Galway County Council as “lacking”.

He said that all opinions on the development were required and referred to issues such as the disposal of wastewater from the site as being of huge importance. According to Cllr Declan Geraghty (Ind), this development could have the potential to end up being a ghetto, like similar developments in other towns, and slammed the lack of information about the project.

Senior Executive Planner Alan O’Connor explained that the way the legislation is written, the elected members can only make submissions to the planning application and will not be involved in the decision making.

However, he said that An Bord Pleanála will be required to take their comments into account before making any decision on the proposed development.

Mr O’Connell said that the Council did engage in a consultation process with members of the public and among their concerns was actually a lack of proper consultation about the new housing scheme.

They also raised issues regarding the negative impact it would have on traffic in the area, the safe disposal of surface water, the overbearing nature of the development, a lack of open space and a poor layout.

An animated Cllr Timmy Broderick (Ind) said that there were young couples out there frustrated by the planning process and he wasn’t surprised by this given what had happened with this application and the lack of consultation.

He said that the councillors should have been notified five weeks ago when the planning application was first lodged.

“There are local residents who have approached me asking what is going on and I could not tell them because I did not know either. But I will not be made a muppet of,” he vowed.

He proposed today’s emergency meeting but said that he was not happy with the Council’s planners who should have brought it to their attention at an earlier stage so that they could consider it properly.

(The site for the proposed new housing estate at Dunlo, Ballinasloe. Photo: Gerry Stronge).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up