Galway city councillors have voted unanimously to put a cap on housing units per hectare at a new urban village.
The decision was made following concerns over part of the Ardaun local area plan which suggested there would be 35 to 50 plus housing units per hectare.
Galway City West councillor Colette Connolly said that the Government and the council would be making people live in “shoe boxes” if they agreed to 35 to 50 plus units per hectare.
Cllr Connolly said; “I have severe concerns of national legislation being put into local area plans. Local authorities have to abide by plans but why do we have to adopt them? We are making people live in boxes. People have a right to live in a dignified manner. This would be a backward step. We should give people a place which is comfortable. We should be building homes that accommodate the modern family. There is ample land to build housing in Ireland.”
Independent councillor Donal Lyons said he had severe reservations about the increase of housing densities and that there should be a maximum number on houses per hectare.
Cllr Mike Cubbard said; “ I do not believe building small units to satisfy a spreadsheet is the right way to go. We should not be pandering to the Department. We should be building proper size units.”
In response to the councillors’ concerns, the Galway City Council chief executive Brendan McGrath said that people would not be living in boxes but the area would need substantial population density in order for public transport and Irish Water to service the area.