Supporting Local News

Driving range plan turned down by Galway County Council

A proposed driving range near Athenry has been rejected by planners because of a combination of traffic issues and light spillage onto neighbouring properties.

Galway County Council refused permission to construct a driving range on just over an acre site at Kingsland South, Athenry less than a mile from the town – on the grounds that the proposed site access onto the public road is deemed unsatisfactory.

Developer Daire Madden believed it would have been a hugely popular business venture on the basis that the location would have ‘a captive audience’ with both Athenry Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Club, both with big memberships, being situated within a few miles of this proposed development.

The site for the driving range is on agriculture zoned lands off a local road that are adjacent to the proposed Athenry Relief Road. There are well established and more recent dwellings in the area.

In refusing permission, planners said that there were insufficient sightlines at the proposed site entrance and they also had concerns over traffic movements into and out of the driving range.

They described it as a potential traffic hazard as it would cause obstructions for roads users and interfere with the free flow of traffic.

As the driving range would be mainly used in the evenings and night with substantial lighting required, planners were of the opinion that it would impact on local residential amenities by potential light spillage.

They felt that it could depreciate the value of property in the immediate vicinity but they also said that the existing drainage characteristics were not suitable for the efficient disposal of effluent from the site.

According to planners, it would present an unacceptable risk to public health and would provide threat to water quality in the area.

There was also an objection from a local resident, Leanne Connolly from Rahard, Athenry, on basically the grounds that the planning application was refused.

“I object to the proposed application for a driving range at this address. As a local resident, I feel that the local roads infrastructure is not sufficient to deal with additional traffic, particularly at the dangerous bend at the top of this road.

“I feel that the proposal is not in keeping with the other land use in the area which is wholly residential and agricultural,” she added.

Another resident, Ann O’Connell, said there were “dangerous bends” on this road and was too narrow for this development.

She also said there were driving ranges at both Athenry Golf Club and similar facilities at Cregmore Golf Club, and made reference to potential anti-social behaviour in a rural location.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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