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Proposal for solar farm in Clifden shot down

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A proposal for a solar farm near Clifden has been shot down.
The county council has refused to grant planning permission to Lir Energy Ltd for a 4 megawatt solar farm with storage units at Tooraskeheen.

The solar farm planned for Clifden would have involved an upgrade of the existing access road, a new access road and substation with transformers.
County planners have turned down the plans stating that they are not satisfied that the development wouldn’t adversely impact on nearby protected European sites.
Planners also state that the solar farm would not be capable of adequately assimilating into the rural landscape.
Another reason for refusal is that planners felt the development would have the potential to adversely impact on the amenities of residential properties in surrounding areas.

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Car insurance claims in Galway down 35 percent this year

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A new report has found that car insurance claims across Galway fell by over 35 percent this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study by HelloSafe reveals that the drop in claims by motorists across the county saved insurance companies almost €16m.

The saving is attributed to the ongoing pandemic, which has seen considerably reduced traffic on the roads.

Dublin had the biggest drop in claims – down 49 percent – followed by Louth, Galway, Kildare, and Cork.

The lowest figure was recorded in Co. Leitrim, where claims dropped by just 19 percent.

The report says policy holders should expect a discount on their premiums in the long run.

But motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert says drivers shouldn’t hold their breath – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour…

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Green light for mixed use development in Knocknacarra, despite residents’ concerns

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A controversial plan for a mixed use development at a brownfield site in Knocknacarra has been given the thumbs up by An Bord Pleanála.

The project, which includes a restaurant and bar, is led by Highcross Developments Limited and had been the subject of an appeal by a residents’ association.

Permission had been granted by the city council in June for the construction of a restaurant/bar, two retail units and six apartments at the site at the junction of the Clybaun road and the Western Distributor Road.

The plans also involved the demolition of an existing two-storey detached dwelling and the construction of a mixed use building over a basement to the height of four storeys.

The development was designed to feature a mix of two and three bedroom apartments and 72 carparking spaces at a site opposite the Clybaun Hotel.

In an appeal from a residents’ association, concerns were raised that the site is currently zoned for residential use and it was argued the development’s non residential activities are not in keeping with the Galway City Development plan.

Other issues highlighted in the appeal included over commercialization of the area, noise concerns, parking and the design of the building itself.

An Bord Pleanála has approved the development with 18 revised conditions.

One states the proposed vehicular entrance off the Western Distributor Road is to be omitted and provision is to be made for an entry/exit point on Clybaun Road.

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Galway to share in 50 million euro national fund for walking and cycling projects

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway is set to avail of a €50m fund announced by Government to create more walking and cycling routes in rural towns and villages

The scheme from the Department of Transport is open to local authorities outside Ireland’s main urban centres.

County Councils are being asked to identify convenient and direct routes for active travel modes for pedestrians and cyclists.

Eligible projects could include new footpaths or cycle tracks, bicycle parking, repair of existing infrastructure, improved crossing facilities and design work for future pedestrian or cycle bridges.

Local authorities have until January to supply a list of projects after which point the exact amount of funding awarded to Galway will be revealed.

Junior Transport Minister and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughten says the focus is on promoting active travel in rural communities – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour…

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