Supporting Local News

Smaller estates of more benefit to rural villages

The development of smaller housing schemes for rural villages across the county would help address the population decline in these areas – according to a local authority official.

Galway County Council Director of Services Liam Hanrahan made his comments as approval was given for an eight-house development in the North Galway village of Ballymoe close to the Roscommon border.

Members of Ballinasloe Municipal Council welcomed the new houses, saying that other smaller villages could benefit for similar-size schemes.

Senior Executive Engineer Damien Mitchell explained that the €2.5 million development would be in close proximity to the village centre and would be convenient in terms of walking and cycling.

He added that it would go to tender in September, and it was hoped that works would commence in early 2023. The development comprises of two two-bed bungalows and six two storey two-bed dwellings.

Director of Services Liam Hanrahan described it as an estate that suits the size of the village and was acceptable in terms of road safety and convenience for the future occupants.

He said that while the Department of Housing might like a development of around 40 houses, this would not be suitable for a small village such as Ballymore and would be more appropriate for larger towns where there would be more services.

Planning permission has been granted for the small development, which was said will be ideal for small families or elderly residents, subject to 14 conditions being complied with.

Among these is a requirement that a road safety audit be completed prior to the development commencing while the new estate will also have adequate lighting and be connected to the local wastewater treatment system.

Welcoming the development, Cllr Michael Connolly (FF) said that similar estates for other smaller villages such as Ballymoe should be encouraged and particularly in areas where the population is falling.

“It is a development that will bring more activity to the village, and this is what we need in rural parts of County Galway where the population is in decline.

“A new shop has opened in Ballymoe and this housing project will go towards ensuring that this business will thrive into the future. We need more of this type of development in our rural villages,” Cllr Connolly added.

Equally Cllr Peter Keaveney (FG) said that it was a welcome move and one that would be bringing a derelict site close to the village into use.

“It will breathe new life into Ballymoe and it is of a size that is appropriate for the village,” said the Glenamaddy councillor.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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