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Planning delays leave Port of Galway ‘turning away business’


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Planning delays leave Port of Galway ‘turning away business’

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway Harbour Company is still waiting for a decision on its planning application to extend the port – almost nine years after it was lodged.

The delay is holding back the economic potential of the port, according to a statement by Chairman Maurice O’Gorman in the company’s recently published accounts for 2021.

The harbour is ‘turning away business’ because of size and access restrictions that are to be addressed by the extension if it’s given the go-ahead, he said.

The Directors’ Report warns that the proposed extension is “essential if the port’s economic future is to be sustained and grown”.

“In the absence of the port expansion, a question mark will arise over the future economic viability of the port and its ability to grow its core business,” directors said.

Another risk identified in the absence of port expansion is that it would limit its ability to attract new business “on an equal competitive basis with other ports”.

A planning application to extend the port was lodged with An Bord Pleanála in January 2014, under the Strategic Infrastructure Act, using IROPI (Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest).

“Port access and size restrictions continue to impede on the port’s ability to grow and to fully service the region and we continue to turn away business due to these restrictions,” Mr O’Gorman added.

The port expansion and relocation will facilitate the redevelopment of the inner-dock area of 17 acres.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Gorman said the potential for offshore wind developments along the Atlantic coast represents a “once in a generation economic opportunity” for the port and region.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, including details of the Harbour Company’s annual accounts for 2o21, see the September 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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