Mayor of Galway says Bonham Docks development would represent major step forward for city

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Mayor of Galway councillor Pearce Flannery says the proposed 100
million euro development at the Docks would be a major step forward for
the city.
His observation was made at day two of the oral hearing concerning the
development which would create a 26 thousand square metre office complex
and public square in the heart of the city.
The building of the complex across Dock Road, Queen Street and Bothar na
Long is led by Gerry Barret’s company Edward Capital.
Mayor Flannery told the hearing the Bonham Quay development provides an
opportunity to energise the city, bringing vibrancy and new life into Galway.
He said the city has lost big firms such as AirBnB and LinkedIn to
Dublin, while other cities have forged ahead because Galway has been
constrained with development.
He stressed the plan is not about a building but about people, adding that
the project would attract high-volume jobs into the area.
President of Galway Chamber of Commerce David Hickey told the hearing a
lack of Grade A office space places the city at a distinct disadvantage.
He added that from 2015 to date, 60% of IDA backed businesses set up in
the city centre.
Mr. Hickey stressed that the development represents a badly needed
kick-start to the city’s regeneration plan.
Galway City Business Association also made an observation this afternoon
arguing Galway is ripe for development of this nature adding it would have
a substantial economic benefit.
Fianna Fail city councillor Peter Keane also made an observation in
support of the plan highlighting the site represents less than 5% of the
total harbour area.
He told the hearing his practice is based on the fourth floor of the
Queensgate building and he doesn’t feel the planned scale is excessive.
City councilor Noel Larkin addressed the hearing and said the city has
been trying to get an outer bypass for 15 years and a development of this
type is crucial to that type of investment.
Earlier today, An Taisce described the project as an unsustainable,
piecemeal, ad-hoc urban development.
Its submission argued the project needs a statutory master plan in order
to be plan-led and not developer-led.
The group also raised serious concerns over what it described as a lack of
residential content arguing it fails to acknowledge the city’s housing
shortage stating the scheme as designed will only serve itself.
The submission also highlights concerns regarding the scale, height,
design and layout of the scheme which it described as an ‘inward focused
office campus’.
The An Taisce report states the 7 to 8 storey complex will cause
significant visual change over a limited area.
The group also raised concerns regarding the project’s engagement with the
waterfront adding that views to the docks will be poor and overshadowed by
nearby office blocks.
The hearing is expected to conclude tomorrow at the Clayton Hotel.