New homes plan sparks safety worries for schoolkids

The entrance to Taylor's Hill Court, with Scoil Róis and the Dominican College in the background.

Three residents’ associations have appealed plans to build six new duplex homes off Taylor’s Hill in Galway on the grounds the development would lead to traffic chaos during school runs.

Residents said the thought of the cars reversing in the development “puts shivers down our spines”.

In May, Galway City Council granted permission for a block of 1 one-bed, two 2-bed and three 3-bed apartments at Taylor’s Hill Court on Rosary Lane.

The application was made Declan Taite and Anne O’Dwyer of Duff & Phelps, who were appointed as receivers over assets of Model Investment Partnership, which is connected through common directorships to the Kenny Group.

The site has an existing apartment development of 14 units and is located on an access road which also leads directly to the Dominican College.

The new homes would remove the existing carparking area and reposition it adjacent to the roadway and to the west of the site.

The receivers’ plan was initially for eight units, but this was reduced following concerns expressed by the Council.

The Council’s grant of permission has now been jointly appealed by Devon Court Residents’ Association, Devon Gardens Residents’ Association and Devon Park Residents’ Association.

“Our primary concerns are in relation to the impact this development will have on the traffic chaos and indiscriminate parking of cars along the network of roads in the immediate vicinity, at peak school opening and closing times, several times per day,” the appeal reads.

The residents referenced a previous An Bord Pleanála decision refusing permission for a similar development on the site, which the board ruled would “endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and obstruction of road users”.

“It is obvious to anyone who observes the daily chaos of traffic along the link road to the existing and proposed new residential units at Taylor’s Hill Court, that the inclusion of off-road parking for 24 cars will seriously affect the already difficult egress and exit of car drivers along this road.

“The prospect of 24 residents trying to reverse out of their car parking spaces in order to exit this link road at peak times puts shivers down out spines.

“This link road is used by small children walking to Scoil Róis primary school around the corner. Secondary school pupils walk on both the footpaths and the road, often looking at their phones as teenagers are wont to do.

“Pupils cycle along the road, with other pupils regularly alighting from both sides of cars which stop along both sides of the link road and then cross from one side to the other.

“We have become aware recently that an access has had to be created from Scoil Róis into the grounds at the back of the Dominican secondary school in order to allow ambulance access to the secondary school in the case of an emergency. This was required as the link road is often so congested that an ambulance could not gain access.

“The provision of eight set-down spaces on each side of Rosary Lane in the past month cannot be regarded as anything other than a minimal response to the current traffic congestion and hazard in the area,” the appeal reads.

The residents’ associations also raised concerns about open space requirements and the loss of amenity to existing residents in the locality.

“The residents of the existing apartments will in fact be looking out onto a three-storey apartment block,” the residents said, adding that the apartments would lead to an increase in noise levels leading to a loss of amenity for the surrounding lower density housing.