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Docks plan could spark the regeneration of Galway

Dara Bradley

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D-Day for Galway Harbour is looming – An Bórd Pleanála is due to announce its decision on the proposed redevelopment of the docks next Friday, September 11.

The planning appeals board has been deliberating on plans for the €126 million redevelopment of the docks since an oral hearing took place in January.

The proposal has the potential to transform the face of Galway into the next century, according to proponents of the projects. The 85.4 hectare project, which is expected to take eight years to construct, will be built in four phases.

The plan involves the construction of new deep water berths to the south of the existing port, a marina, and nautical centre. It will allow for larger vessels to dock in Galway, and result in a huge economic boost to the city during construction and into the future, the harbour maintains.

The Board has missed several deadlines to announce its decision, which was originally due in April or May. Despite repeated attempts to contact An Bórd Pleanála, it did not return calls this week but it has been confirmed to Galway Chamber that the decision is due on September 11.

Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan told the Galway City Tribune he is optimistic the project will be okayed and when completed it will transform the city.

“We are very hopeful. We put our best foot forward, we left no question unanswered at the oral hearing. Inspector Paul Caprani said it was the best oral hearing he had attended or presided over. If it gets the go-ahead, and I am positive and optimistic, that we have put our best foot forward, it will be a game-changer for the economy and future of Galway,” said Captain Sheridan.

For more on the Docks plan, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island

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Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham

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A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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