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CITY TRIBUNE

Planners ask developers to address construction concerns

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The City Council has asked the backer of plans for a new residential and office development on the Monivea Road to draw up proposals on how to deal with asbestos, noise and construction traffic.

Green Way Estates sought permission last month to redevelop a five-acre site encompassing the former Heneghan’s nurseries, Ballybane House and Rosapenna (already demolished) on the Monivea Road.

The plans involve the construction of 52 houses, offices and a medical practice and dental practice, as well as parking.

However, planners have said that “significant concerns” have been raised by a series of neighbouring objectors relating to construction and demolition work; disposal of asbestos and traffic.

“Significant concerns have been raised on file, in relation to the potential negative impact that may arise as a result of construction/demolition works on site, with particular regard to the disposal of asbestos, noise, dust, construction traffic and operating hours.

“Whilst it is acknowledged that this issue is normally agreed as a condition of planning permission, given the number of submissions received on file, it is considered that this issue should be reference at this stage.

“The application is therefore asked to submit a construction management plan (framework only) relating to the proposed development.”

The applicant has also been asked to address concerns over construction and demolition works on the site, “with particular regard to the structural integrity of the existing party boundary walls on site and with regard to structures located in proximity to these walls”.

Planners noted that the redevelopment would lead to significantly improved security on the site, but queried how rear garden access points would be managed, because locals raised concerns.

The Council has also queried how the proposals would comply with the new City Development Plan (2017-23) zoning, which states that 75% of the land could be allocated for residential use and the remaining 25% for commercial use. The local authority points out that the residential element appears to account for 78.7%.

The Council has asked the applicants to demonstrate how the proposals comply with Development Plan requirements for communal open space and ‘home zones’ (shared spaces designed for pedestrians, cyclists and children where traffic speeds are reduced through design).

“Given the high proportion of the residential site that is proposed to be used as a home zone, there is a significant concern with regard to the potential negative impact that could be created as a result of unauthorised parking outside of designed areas,” the Council said.

A conservation architect must prepare a report on Ballybane House – which is currently occupied – to assess its architectural heritage and archaeological significance, although it is not a Protected Structure.

An assessment must also be carried out on the benefit of retaining Ballybane House versus building a new dwelling.

Green Way Estates has six months to respond to the Council or the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

The company is headed by John Carmody and John Harty, and is owned by Siobhán Fitzgerald of Clarinbridge; Michelle Kelly of Kiltrogue Castle, Claregalway and John Carmody, a director of Michael Fitzgerald Construction Ltd in Gort.

CITY TRIBUNE

Whopping repayments for City Hall’s move

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Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath: Responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Council suggested that senior management at City Hall did not meet with the owner of Crown Square in Mervue in the year before the loan approval for the purchase of the new offices there. If they did meet, no minutes exist.

The total cost to repay the loan required to execute Galway City Council’s planned purchase of new offices to accommodate a move from City Hall will be €63.1 million, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

It means the City Council will have to find €2m every year for 30 years in its own revenue budget to repay the mortgage, which could impact on the level of service it delivers to the public or may require an increase in charges or commercial rates.

Separately, a Council reply to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request suggests senior management at City Hall did not meet with the owner of Crown Square in Mervue in the year prior to the loan approval for the purchase of the new offices – and if they did meet, no minutes exist.

In its loan sanction application form, submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the City Council applied for permission to borrow €45.4 million.

This is to cover the bulk of the cost of the €56.5m total capital outlay associated with moving from City Hall and relocating all Galway City Council employees from College Road to the new Crown Square offices in Mervue.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Hunt on for new courthouse to tackle explosion in cases

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Galway Courthouse: Limited facilities there make it difficult to clear lengthy Circuit Court lists.

The Courts Service is scouring the city for rental property to accommodate Galway Courthouse.

Commercial real estate advisors, Avison Young have been hired to source suitable property in the city centre.

The company published an advert in Galway City Tribune last week outlining the Courts Service’s property requirement of suitable commercial or office space of 1,800-2,000 metres squared.

Avison Young said the space should be in the city centre and be available to lease.

On-site parking is required, and it needs to be available for “immediate occupation”.

The move comes after the Galway City Tribune revealed earlier this month that victims of serious crime are waiting up to three years for justice because Galway’s limited court facilities make it difficult to clear lengthy Circuit Court lists.

Due to an explosion in the number of cases sent for trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court, the wait for a trial date is between 24 and 36 months.

The Courts Service confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was looking for a new courthouse and office space facilities.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Stars align as Teapots finally stage Into the Dark Woods

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Blue Teapot director Petal Pilley with cast members Michael Hayes and Valerie Egan ahead of the show.

Into the Dark Woods

Blue Teapot at the Black Box

REVIEW BY JUDY MURPHY

After several false dawns, Blue Teapot Theatre Company finally got to stage its long-awaited drama, Into the Dark Woods, in the city’s Black Box Theatre last week. A Galway 2020 commission, and written by company member Charlene Kelly, it was originally meant to be presented more than two years ago.

Blue Teapot is made up of actors with intellectual disabilities and Charlene is one of its best-known performers, but this marked her first foray into writing, supported by dramaturg Eileen Gibbons. The production, directed by the company’s Artistic Director Petal Pilley, has done her proud.

It’s a short, moving, sometimes humorous piece about two young people with intellectual disabilities from very different backgrounds, who get lost in the woods where they are confronted by various demons and monsters.

Jennifer Cox plays Sharon whose grandmother (Mary Monaghan-McHugh) has taught her to be independent and outward looking, while Kieran Coppinger is a prince who has been cocooned in a nearby castle by his father (Midie Corcoran), a king who feels his son isn’t capable of inheriting the throne.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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