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Parcels of land in Galway left in 'Twilight Zone' after Minister’s intervention


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Parcels of land in Galway left in 'Twilight Zone' after Minister’s intervention Parcels of land in Galway left in 'Twilight Zone' after Minister’s intervention

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Eleven parcels of land across Galway City have been left ‘unzoned’ for the first time in modern history.

As it stands, these lands effectively fall outside of the normal planning system and it is unclear if they can be legally used for any purpose.

At this week’s meeting of Galway City Council, Interim Chief Executive, Patricia Philbin, said she had “serious concerns” about this unique situation – which has come about in the wake of the adoption of the Galway City Development Plan in January.

During lengthy debates over the new Development Plan, the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) raised concerns with the City Council about the zoning proposed for each of the eleven parcels of land – warning that the proposed zoning was not consistent with national planning regulations.

Despite these warnings, councillors voted to go ahead with their desired zoning for each area. This prompted the OPR to recommend that the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell, intervene in the situation.

Minister O’Donnell has written to the Council and directed the local authority to alter the Development Plan, in order to bring it in line with national planning legislation.

However, instead of dezoning the lands back to their previous planning zoning, or assigning them a new zoning, the letter from Minister O’Donnell said that the eleven parcels of land should be considered “unzoned”.

In response to this, Galway City Council wrote to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, requesting that it allocates some legal zone to the land.

In a written reply, seen by the Galway City Tribune, Minister O’Donnell refused to assign a legal zoning, but recommended that this planning anomaly be rectified by the elected members of Galway City Council.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the June 16 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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