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CITY TRIBUNE

Fresh attempt to build homes on former golf course

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Plans to develop housing on the former Rosshill Par 3 golf course have been resurrected – with developers lodging an application to construct 102 units on the site.

A previous application to develop 342 units by Alber Developments – owned by the family of developer Bernard Duffy – was refused by An Bord Pleanála after it was branded a ‘substandard’ form of development on the site. The lands are owned by the Comer Group.

However, a new Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application has been made to the Board – used to fast track proposals for more than 100 residential units by submitting applications directly to An Bord Pleanála after consultations with local authority planners.

The Rosshill Manor development has been broken into a phased development, with the first phase currently under consideration by the Board.

Proposed is the development of 11 one-bed apartments; 24 two-bed apartments; 11 four-bed houses; and 56 three bed-houses.

Provision is made for a childcare facility on site, over two stories with outdoor play areas and car parking (14 spaces). Retail and commercial space is also included.

Each housing unit is to be provided with two car parking spaces, amounting to 130 in total, with a further 134 bicycle parking spaces.

For each apartment, there would be one car parking space, with one visitor car space for every four apartments, giving a total of 43 spaces. One bicycle space per apartment bedroom, with a visitor space for every two apartments amounts to 77 in total.

The planning application also commits to access and junction improvements at Rosshill Road and Rosshill Stud Farm Road, with the provision of a footpath connectivity link along both routes.

The previous plan, submitted in January 2020, was met with huge opposition from locals who said at the time that the area was ill-equipped to deal with a development of such magnitude given the lack of public transport in the area and the fact that it was still a largely agricultural part of the city.

They also stated that due to the regular movement of cattle on the road, and the use of Rosshill as a rat-run for car traffic coming into the city via Oranmore, the area was a regular blackspot for congestion likely to be worsened by such a development.

In its response to the previous application, An Bord Pleanála stated that there was a lack of sewerage infrastructure in the area to service the proposed development and that, based on the information provided, they could not be satisfied that the scheme would not have a negative impact on the nearby Galway Bay Special Protection Area.

In this new application, Alber state that the Merlin Park pumping station has capacity to deal with the wastewater requirements, adding that Irish Water has “confirmed that sufficient capacity is available currently to cater for the proposed development of 102 no. units plus one no. creche”.

Because of the proximity of the proposed development to both the Galway Bay Complex Special Area of Conservation and the Inner Galway Bay Special Protection Area, an Environmental Impact Assessment is included as part of the application.

The developer submitted: “It can be objectively concluded that the proposed project, individually or in combination with other plans or projects, will not adversely affect the integrity of any European site.”

An Bord Pleanála is due to give its decision by October 28. The full planning application is available to view at on the Rosshill Manor website.

CITY TRIBUNE

New fire station for Athenry gets stamp of approval

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Councillors have given their stamp of approval to a new fire station for Athenry – voting unanimously to grant planning for the development at Ballygarraun South.

The site of just under two acres, located between the new Presentation College and the railway line, will house a station as well as a training tower and parking.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Duffy told a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District this week that they hoped to have a contractor appointed by the end of October, with works to get underway soon afterwards.

“We have worked very hard to get this project to a tangible position and it’s great that the ‘Part 8’ planning application [one which requires a vote by councillors] has been adopted today,” said Mr Duffy.

“This will hopefully get underway this year and we can move on to other stations [in the county], with another one planned for next year and another the year after,” he added.

The plans include the construction of a 361 square metre fire station with finishing materials common to the area which ‘will link the development on the site to the context overall’.

Permission has been granted from the IDA, which owns the site, for Galway County Council to proceed with the development on their lands.

The meeting heard that consideration had been given to the sightlines for exiting fire trucks and that amendments had been made to the original plans to ensure they were adequate.

Local area councillor Gabe Cronnelly (Ind) said the progression of a new fire station for the town was hugely welcome, adding that it had been years in the making.

“We have to give huge credit to Paul Duffy who pursued this. Athenry is one of the busiest stations in the county. We secured an extension for the existing station six years ago and when the Department was granting that, they could see that, from the amount of calls it was getting, that a new station was justified,” said Cllr Cronnelly.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she was ‘delighted’ that the area’s representatives had given the proposal their unanimous backing.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport

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From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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