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HSE and Defence Forces in Galway ‘blindsided’ by Land Development Agency


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

HSE and Defence Forces in Galway ‘blindsided’ by Land Development Agency HSE and Defence Forces in Galway ‘blindsided’ by Land Development Agency

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) and Defence Forces were ‘blindsided’ by ambitious proposals by the Land Development Agency (LDA) to develop housing sites at Merlin Park Hospital and Renmore Barracks.

The LDA published a report earlier this month outlining potential to build more than 6,000 houses at eight Galway City sites in public ownership.

It included up to 2,240 social and affordable homes at Merlin Park Hospital and up to 1,010 houses at Renmore Barracks, but the Galway City Tribune has established LDA did not consult with either of the organisations that own the land.

The HSE, in a statement to this newspaper, said it was not consulted by the LDA about developing houses at Merlin Park. It said it already has other plans for the site, including building a new elective hospital and Community Nursing Unit.

The Department of Health said it, too, was not consulted ahead of the LDA publishing its report. It confirmed to the Galway City Tribune it has plans to develop health infrastructure at the site.

A source in the Defence Forces said it was not consulted about plans for houses on land at Renmore Barracks.

These sites were two of eight identified by the LDA as having the potential to deliver more than 6,000 units at a combined cost of more than €1.8 billion.

But the week after the report was published, it emerged through former mayor Donal Lyons that one site the LDA had identified on Ballymoneen Road was already sold by the Council to the Galway Roscommon Educational Training Board to build a school.

This newspaper reported that Councillor Lyons (Ind) said the planning process for the school at that site was progressing and it would not be available for housing. He accused the LDA of giving false hope to people on the housing waiting list.

And now it has been confirmed that the owners of sites earmarked for housing at Merlin Park and Renmore Barracks were not consulted by the LDA.

(Image: a map of the lands owned by the HSE at Merlin Park which were earmarked by the LDA).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the April 21 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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