There is an “urgent need to have more industry developed” on industrial zoned land in Knocknacarra, a move that, if realised, would daily reduce traffic volumes in the area and increase local employment.
This is the view of Independent city councillor Donal Lyons, who this week, with Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish, met Martin Shanahan, chief executive of IDA Ireland, together with senior IDA executives. The meeting took place in Dublin to discuss bringing forward plans to develop the industrial zoned lands at Rahoon, close to the Gateway Park.
The lands were zoned industrial in the 1999 Galway City Development Plan to facilitate possible local employment in the area. Following the adoption of the Retail Strategy in 2003 by the Galway City Council, a large portion of the land was re-zoned to accommodate the Gateway Park where Dunne Stores and B&Q are located. In the subsequent City Development Plan, Cllr Lyons argues successfully for a further land bank to be added to industrial land bank, where Allergan, Aviva, and RSA now stand.
However, Cllr Lyons says there is an “urgent need to have more industry developed” on the site. He said this is vital in order to “offset the large traffic volumes” leaving Knocknacarra daily and going to work on the east side of the city in the mornings and returning west in the evenings. He said developing industry local wouldboth reduce traffic volumes and increase local employment.
Cllr Lyons has put forward motions at council meetings to invite representatives from IDA to present their plans for the lands in question. “Up to now, there has been no undertaking by the IDA to develop the lands,” he said, “and I am awaiting confirmation as to when these presentations can take place.”
“I believe there is now an opportunity to put serious plans in place so the lands can be utilised to their full potential,” he said. “The concerns I have relate to the large number of submissions to the Galway City Development Plan 2017 – 2013 which sought the rezoning of large portions of the land to residential zoning. Also, a further eroding of the land bank took place in order to facilitate the construction of the newly built 24 class room school for Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh.”