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Planners brand Bohermore hotel design ‘overbearing’



City planners have told the developer behind plans for a new 140-bedroom hotel in Bohermore to go back to the drawing board after branding the design “overbearing” and saying it would have a negative impact on its surrounds.

The city’s Chief Fire Officer has also raised concerns in relation to health and safety.

In February, Salthill-based Georgina O’Mahony of Highgate Properties sought permission to demolish the former Shannon Dry Cleaners and adjoining properties to make way for the development.

It was to include a two, three and four-storey hotel over lower ground floor level in two blocks fronting onto Bohermore and the rear of the site.

The plans included 139 bedrooms, reception area, dining area, two bars and office space, while the disused Galway-Clifden railway tunnel – which runs under part of the site – was to be used as a lounge with overhead café/bar.

However, planners have ordered a redesign of the proposals as they would contravene the City Development Plan standards for plot ratios in an area where a transition is being made from city centre to an established residential area.

“The applicant is asked to revisit the overall scale and design concept and submit revised proposals.

“It is considered that the design/visual appearance of the proposed hotel, with particular regard to the front and side (north) elevations, gives rise to an overbearing expression onto the streetscape and establishes little relationship with the surrounding urban fabric, greatly detracting from the character of the area.

“It is considered that the use of architectural features, such as expansive blank gables . . . provide for a negative impact on visual amenity in the context of the character of the street and the setting of the protected structure located at No. 86 Bohermore,” planners said.

They also asked the developer to re-visit the size of the opening for vehicular access to see if it could be reduced to lessen the negative impact onto the street.

Planners also sought a Mobility Management Plan as there was a minimal amount of parking proposed, and to explain how this would work in the context of patrons, staff, servicing and persons who are disabled.

Mrs O’Mahony has also been ordered to liaise with the Chief Fire Officer, who raised concerns in relation to public health and safety.

She was also asked to clarify if any additional consent is needed from Irish Rail to carry out work on the former railway tunnel.

The application has received the backing of Eugene Keville, the owner of the nearby Western Hotel, who said: “I feel it will be a fantastic development for the whole area and something that is very much needed to help enhance commerce in the area, as well as providing quality accommodation for tourists and a large number of jobs.”

Publican Peadar Tonery said Bohermore is in desperate need of such a development.

“With the closure of eleven businesses in our area, Bohermore is in desperate need of this. I speak to many local people on a daily basis and the level of support from them is huge,” Mr Tonery said in his submission to planners.

Breda Crowe of Crowe’s Bar supported what she termed as the regeneration and revitalisation of the area, and said the site is more suitable as a hotel than its previous industrial use.

SIPTU, which has carpark access between 66 and 64 Hill objected to the application on the grounds that only 11 parking spaces for the hotel would negatively affect their premises, and cause considerable delays to staff and the public visiting their premises.


No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic



From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.

In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.

“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.

“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”

Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.

“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.

Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.

Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.

Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.

The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).

Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.

For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub



From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.

Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.

In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.

The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.

When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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