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Oral hearing to take place following objections to 100 million euro Galway Docks development

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – An oral hearing is to take place following objections to a 100 million euro development at Galway Docks.
It’s after several appeals against the 100 million euro development described the proposed project as ‘overbearing,’ ‘unsustainable’ and ‘premature.’
A decision on the appeals was due tomorrow – but An Bord Pleanala has confirmed to Galway Bay fm news that an oral hearing is set to take place.
The future of the Bonham Quay plan hangs in the balance, as four appeals have been submitted to An Bord Pleanala against the City Council’s grant of permission.
The 100 million euro development would create a 26 thousand square metre office complex and public square in the heart of the city – that could accommodate almost 3 thousand workers.
The building of the complex across Dock Road, Queen Street and Bothar na Long by Gerry Barret’s company Edward Capital would also create 500 construction jobs.
In one appeal, An Taisce argues the proposed development’s lack of residential content contravenes the city development plan – and would also restrict public access to the waterfront.
It also claims the development is premature given the long term plans for Galway Harbour.
In a separate appeal, two residents of an apartment block at Forthill Street say the proposed project would be overbearing, and lead to overlooking and overshadowing of existing properties.
A third appeal by a Renmore resident outlines ten reasons why the project should be sent back to the drawing board.
These include concerns over sustainability and the lack of a master plan for lands around Ceannt Station and the inner harbour.
Finally, a fourth appeal by VP Motors Ltd at Forthill Street raises concerns over encroachment onto the company’s property, and right of way.
However, the car sales and rental firm says it is not objecting in principle to the proposed development.
An oral hearing is to be held to help the higher planning authority come to a decision on the development – and a date will be set shortly.
It’s not yet known if the hearing will also cover a proposed student accommodation development at the same location.

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Coming up on the News@1 for Galway

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  • An attempt to postpone the adoption of the new Galway County Development Plan for a year has failed. Those arguing for the postponement pointed out that the COVID crisis had made it difficult for the public to engage in the public consultation while there were counter arguments about the work and costs involved in delaying the process
  • Customers who have yet to receive their EU Digital COVID Cert can use their HSE vaccine card as proof of vaccination, if they wish to dine indoors this weekend
  • 500 toads will be released in Co Kerry today, as part of a project to protect the endangered Natterjack species
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Appeal over refusal of plans to expand Skeffington Arms Hotel

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The city council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a significant expansion of the Skeffington Arms Hotel has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The project would have seen the demolition of the existing nightclub building to make way for a seven-story building over the existing basement.

This would make way for 44 hotel bedrooms.

The project also involved realignment structural consolidation, and re-cladding of the existing second storey bridge linking to the main hotel building, to provide an upper level link between the existing hotel and the proposed extension.

The existing basement would have remained in place, while the ground floor and sixth floors would also have contained customer facilities including reception, foyer, restaurant, and café/breakfast area.

Part of the proposed development is located within the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area and the site is adjacent to a number of protected structures.

In making their decision, city planners cited two factors.

One cited the overall poor design in contributing to the unacceptable nature of the development – including the scale, height and low quality visual appearance of the proposed extension – as well as the impact on the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area, and the affect on the city centre streetscape.

The decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanala and a decision is due in November.

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County Councillors back plans to lease part of Galway Airport to film group

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway County Councillors have voted unanimously in favour of continuing contacts and negotiations with a film production company that wants to go into business at the Galway Airport site in Carnmore.

However, a substantial number of Councillors insisted that arrangements would have to be made with the Galway Flying Club so that the Club could continue using the facilities at the Airport location.

There was broad support from Councillors for the plan by the Danú company from Spiddal to set up in Carnmore. Galway City Council have previously backed the project.

Councillor P.J. Murphy was among those who said that the Connemara Gaeltacht is a good example of what can be achieved in film and television production. Karey McHugh said the project could give Galway natives trained in media and film an option to work at home.

Councillor Jim Cuddy said the Galway Flying Club facilities had to be protected in Carnmore and added that a masterplan for the site is needed.

Councillor Declan Geraghty warned against abandoning the aeronautic facilites at Carnmore like railway lines were abandoned in the past.

Director of Services, Liam Hanrahan, said that the basic airport infrastructure would not be lost and that Councillors would be further advised about the ongoing negotiation in the coming months.

The initial investment – if a lease is signed with Danú – is put at €3m. with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Western Development Commission included.

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