Residents appeal over apartments green light
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Dara Bradley
~ 4 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
From the Galway City Tribune – A number of Shantalla residents are to lodge an appeal against planning permission granted for 70 apartments at the old T O’Higgins site on the Rahoon Road in Galway.
Permission was granted to Sean Talamh Development Ltd for the construction of the apartments over three storeys – with an underground basement for parking.
While the application had originally sought permission for 86 apartments ranging in height from three to five storeys, this was reduced following a request for further information from city planners.
The original application, made in June 2022, also sought to include a creche and café facilities, both of which have been removed.
Provision has been made for 59 car parking spaces, reduced from 97 in the original application at the request of City Hall to make way for additional bicycle parking. Permission has been granted on the condition that the car parking spaces are for the use of residents only.
Some 23 conditions were attached to the granting of permission for the development which received 43 submissions and objections.
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Among those is a direction that the residential units must not be used for short-term lettings.
Red Lane, which is adjacent to the site, is to be widened, but conditional to permission is the stipulation that it will remain open to use and access by the public.
Access should also be maintained throughout the construction and may only be closed temporarily during the upgrade of the laneway, while the apartment’s management company must take responsibility for its upkeep after the development’s completion.
Planners have also stipulated that all ground disturbance required for the development must be monitored by a qualified archaeologist.
Davis Road resident Annmarie Bermingham said she and a number of her neighbours, as well as residents on Colmcille Road, Maunsells Road and Reddington Road, had serious concerns about the development and its impact on traffic in the area.
A long-standing issue with flooding on Davis Road due to an ineffective draining system was at the core of her issues with the development, she said, adding that the Council had been aware of the problem for years.
“They are adding to an already oversubscribed system,” Ms Bermingham told the Galway City Tribune.
In a letter dated August 20, 2008, to the then-Mayor Pádraig Conneely, former Director of Services Ciarán Hayes confirmed that the drainage network in the area required an upgrade.
“It is one of the many areas of the city requiring new/upgraded drainage systems to serve old developments under pressure arising from extensive new development in the city over the last 10-15 years,” stated Mr Hayes.
Ms Bermingham said the former Cllr Conneely made representations on their behalf at the time.
“Nothing has happened since and now they’re going to add more developments. There is flooding here if there is any heavy rain. The drainage system was built in the 1940s and 1950s.
“A few years back, the fire brigade had to spend a day here pumping the water because it was coming so close to the doors. An engineer from the Council told us that the piping had collapsed and the water was just soaking into the ground, which takes time, and if there’s a build-up, it will flood,” said Ms Bermingham.
“It’s not acceptable to add to that,” she added.
Three separate appeals from representative groups of residents had been sent to An Bord Pleanála last Wednesday, she said, and while they accepted that housing should be located on the site, there took issue with the scale of this development.
“We have concerns about Red Lane and widening it. As far as we’re concerned, it’s wide enough at the moment for pedestrians and cyclists, and we would be concerned it could be opened up to cars. That lane belongs to the people of Shantalla,” said Ms Bermingham.
(Photo: Flooding in Davis Road, Shantalla, following heavy rainfall on November 28, 1999).
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