Plan to ‘squeeze’ more new homes into Council estates

Corrib Park: one of the locations for new housing.

A plan to squeeze more new houses into four of Galway City’s most established council estates has been criticised as ‘piecemeal’.

Galway City Council has signalled its intention to build 26 new houses at “infill” sites or green areas in four of its existing housing estates.

It is proposing to build 10 units at Ballinfoile Park on the Headford Road; four more at Corrib Park in Westside; four more at Castlepark in Ballybane and six more at Carn Ard on Circular Road.

Design teams working on behalf of the Council have visited the sites in recent weeks and it is envisaged that building work could commence later this year, or next year.

It’s part of the Government’s plan to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis through building new social housing.

However, the plan has been met with stiff resistance from residents in the four estates, as well as Councillor Ollie Crowe.

“They’re driving on with these plans and it’s madness – absolute madness. They’re trying to squeeze in more housing into estates that are already the four biggest Council estates in the city.

“Corrib Park is the biggest housing estate in the Westside and Newcastle. There are 332 there – 317 in Corrib Park and 15 on Carbry Road. It was built 45 or 46 years ago and now around 75% of the estate is privately owned. There are around 1,000 people living in this estate since it was built and many of them are now elderly. There is only one entrance into the estate and one exit. The Council now wants to build more houses in on top of them. Families living in these estates need these green areas. It’s not good enough and if I’ve to stand at the entrance to Corrib Park to block the diggers from going in, that’s what I’ll do,” fumed Cllr Ollie Crowe.

The Fianna Fáil councillor insisted he was not against social housing but he said the government has got it wrong in its approach.

“This is piecemeal and it makes no sense. I’m not for one minute against building more social housing. But the City Council has large landbanks across the city including out in Knocknacarra where they can build social housing, or a mixture of social, affordable and private housing estates. Cramming more houses into the biggest estate in Westside, or into the other three established Council estates, is not going to solve the problem. We do need more houses in the city, and I’m not anti social housing but this is not the way to go about it,” added Cllr Crowe.