Work on the first phase of construction for up to 2,700 homes in the new suburb of Ardaun could begin in 2019, city councillors were told this week.
The City Council’s Chief Executive made it clear to councillors – Ardaun is part of the solution to Galway’s housing crisis.
At a local authority meeting, councillors heard that a Draft Local Area Plan (effectively a mini City Development Plan) for around 405 acres in Ardaun – located close to Galway Clinic – should be ready by the end of July.
In the medium-term, it is proposed to construct 500 homes there, and the land has potential for up to 2,700 homes, as well as commercial development.
A minimum of 10% of the units will be used for social housing.
Last year, Ardaun was designated as a ‘major urban housing delivery site’ by the then Housing Minister Simon Coveney, a fast-track building scheme under the Rebuilding Ireland initiative.
According to the City Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath, the plans are likely to go directly to An Bord Pleanála (under new legislation), and planning permission could be granted by early 2019.
The land will then be open to private developers to build on, in keeping with the Local Area Plan (LAP).
Mr McGrath said the latest figures from the national Housing Agency showed there is a shortfall of 2,316 homes in Galway City and suburbs (the figures are based on information from Census 2016).
For more on the Ardaun discussions, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
Motorcyclist killed in Galway crash
A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Renmore this morning.
Shortly after 10am, the motorcyclist – aged in his 40s – was seriously injured when his motorbike collided with a car on the R338 Old Dublin Road at Renmore Park. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
The crash site was fully examined by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road has now reopened to traffic.
The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Galway and the Coroner has been notified.
Investigating Gardaí are appealing witnesses to come forward and have asked anyone who was travelling in the area at the time and has dashcam footage to contact them.
Wrecking ball for once-great social hub, the Corrib Great Southern Hotel
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It was the summer of ’69, and the landmark Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square was booming.
Every evening, 180 guests – mostly American tourists – thronged its dining room for dinner. Similar numbers were served breakfast, with about 150 for lunch.
It was so busy, the semi-state company planned another 160-bedroom sister hotel, the Corrib Great Southern, on the Dublin Road.
Then the Troubles in Northern Ireland started, and “business fell off a cliff”, recalled Richard Lyons, who worked in both hotels, including 35 years as maître d in the newer one.
“They were building the Corrib when the Troubles started and they decided they had to cut back the rooms by 40. That’s how they finished with 120 bedrooms,” he said.
The hotel was opened on May 27, 1971, by Brian Lenihan Snr, the then Minister for Transport and Power, and Bishop of Galway, Michael Browne.
But the legacy of the Troubles lingered for years after, according to Renmore resident Richard – debt from State borrowing to build a new hotel up North, which was twice bombed by the IRA, threatened the very existence of the semi-state hotel group owned by CIÉ.
In the early 1980s, hotel group debt grew to nearly £8 million, and the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government headed by Garret Fitzgerald decided to liquidate it.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story of the hotel, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway City Council extends outdoor dining into October
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The summer of alfresco dining looks set to be extended into the late autumn, with Galway City Council confirming this week their plans to extend the outdoor arrangements to October 22.
Local councillors, hospitality representatives and the City Council have said this week that the extension of outdoor dining at five city locations from September 30 to October 22 next, reflects public satisfaction with the current set-up.
This week the City Council published statutory public notices to clear the way for a continuation of the existing road closures required to facilitate outdoor dining on William Street West, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, Woodquay and the Small Crane.
Johnny Duggan, Chairman of the city branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and proprietor of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, told the Galway City Tribune that the outdoor dining initiative during the summer had been a ‘huge success’ both from a viability and operational viewpoint.
“It has brought a life and vibrancy back into these areas in a very safe and controlled environment – the move makes sense in terms of the October 22 deadline set for the return of normal business,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for a proposal to bring an ice rink back to Leisureland, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.