Supporting Local News


Rezoning renders Tuam land worthless

Fears of legal repercussions were expressed when councillors in the Tuam area decided to rezone lands – previous earmarked for residential purposes – for recreation and amenity needs.

Members of Tuam Municipal Council were told that they had made lands on the outskirts of the town, which previously held a certain value, virtually worthless.

The meeting also heard that the residents of Airglooney, just off the Ballygaddy Road in Tuam, had lobbied local councillors intensely to have the plot of land beside them zoned open space, because they didn’t want it built on.

The relatively small plot of land at the back of the houses in Airglooney had been zoned residential in the current County Development Plan.

But on foot of a proposal of Cllr Andrew Reddington (FG), this will change and it will now be zoned for open space, recreational and amenity.

Cllr Reddington was supported by Cllr Donagh Killilea (FF) and Cllr Joe Sheridan (FF), with Cllr Pete Roche (FG) and Cllr Mary Hoade (FF) voting against the motion.

When the motion was being discussed, Cllr Roche warned that the Council and its members would be leaving themselves open to a potential lawsuit as they would be effectively rendering the lands worthless.

And he pointed out that it was unlikely that these lands would be built on in any event as the only access is through the Airglooney estate which is privately owned by the existing residents. It has not been taken in charge by Galway County Council.

During the course of the discussion, Cllr Donagh Killilea said that he was intensively lobbied by the residents in Airglooney to vote in favour of having this land changed from residential.

“I received quite a number of phone calls in relating to the zoning of the lands. I just want to put that on the record,” he added.

His FF colleague Cllr Joe Sheridan said that he too had been lobbied by the residents on several occasions in advance of the meeting. Both councillors still supported its rezoning for recreational purposes.

An animated Cllr Roche urged his FG party colleague Cllr Reddington to tread carefully as his motion would be devaluing the land considerably.

However, it was Cllr Reddington’s argument that accessibility was a major problem with this plot of land and that was why it should never have been zoned residential.

But it was Cllr Roche’s argument that there was no need to change the zoning given that it was never likely to be built on given its location with the only access being a private road.

Cllr Donagh Killilea was of the opinion that any threat or prospect of legal action should not sway the decision of any elected representative as the motion was carried.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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