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CITY TRIBUNE

Planning appeal expected against new Lidl supermarket

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RGDATA, the representative group for independent and family-owned grocery outlets, is expected to appeal a planning grant for a new Lidl supermarket in Knocknacarra.

The German retailer had been given the go ahead for the construction of a new €5 million supermarket on the Western Distributor Road – its fourth attempt to secure a new store in Knocknacarra.

Galway City Council approved permission to build the new supermarket beside rival Aldi following several complete redesigns of their proposal.

However, RGDATA has raised concerns about “the proliferation of planned and permitted convenience stores in suburban locations throughout Galway City in recent years” and is expected to appeal the decision.

Last year, An Bord Pleanála overturned a previous permission on the site for Lidl, branding it “monolithic and poor quality of development”.

The company then submitted a fresh planning application for the 1.5-acre site at Bóthar Stiofáin to build a one and two-storey building with a total floor area of almost 2,700 square metres.

The Council ordered two extensive redesigns of those plans – including moving the supermarket from the ground floor to the first floor – before granting permission.

“The convenience retail element would not be in competition with the city centre and would not affect its primacy, as the city centre would generally provide a wider range of higher-quality goods while a development as proposed would generally provide for a low grade, bulky goods.

“It is considered that the provision of food should be positioned closer to residential catchment areas which would encourage more sustainable retail trip generation,” the local authority rule.

A statement from Lidl said it intends to commence construction of the building next January, creating 50 construction jobs, as well as 30 permanent jobs in the supermarket.

However, RGDATA has until October 7 to lodge an appeal against the planning decision.

The group argued that there is no justification for an additional discount foodstore in the area, and that it was of “poor urban design” with inadequate parking and would therefore create a parking hazard.

This was the second planning application for a Lidl on the site, while two other applications were turned down for a site off the Ballymoneen Road roundabout, where the Gleann na Móna housing development is currently under construction.
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CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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