Weed ties Tuam development up in knots

Work proceeding on the Gilmartin Road development.

The development of an €8 million regeneration project in Tuam was interrupted – following the discovery of the highly spreadable Japanese Knotweed.

Locals were curious that developers of the Gilmartin Road site in Tuam were suddenly burrowing around three and four metres deep in places – but the mystery has been resolved.

In fact, they were burying the Knotweed at source which the contractors said was best practice following advice they sought.

Earlier this year, works commenced on an €8 million regeneration programme for Gilmartin Road in Tuam and it means that the run-down estate will undergo a major facelift over the next year and a half.

There were a lot of empty and boarded up houses in the estate that needed either demolition or refurbishment. The estate had been occupied by members of the Travelling community over the years.

Cllr Donagh Killilea has been informed that the large excavation on the site at Gilmartin Road was for the purpose of the treatment and disposal of Japanese Knotweed, which had been identified as being present at this location.

There were a number of options for its disposal. One involved its removal and transportation long distances by road and this would have resulted in a significant additional cost to the development.

It was then decided it would be best practice to deep bury the Japanese Knotweed at source and that this will be monitored by an agency up to and including 2023.

Cllr Killilea told The Connacht Tribune that it would not result in any additional cost to the overall contract. He said that he was happy that the invasive weed had been brought under control at no extra cost to the development.

Works on the redevelopment of the estate, which had more than 20 boarded up houses, began a couple of months ago and has now intensified.

The regeneration involves the demolition of 30 existing houses in the estate and the construction of 40 new two and three-bedroom dwellings. It will be a completely new look estate.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.