'Lack of consultation' lies behind objections to Castle Park houses says McDonnell

Councillor highlights residents concerns after public meeting on proposed housing

Independent Galway City East councillor, Declan McDonnell.

Independent Galway City East councillor, Declan McDonnell.

Mounting objections to 17 planned houses for ‘infill’ sites in Castle Park, Ballinfoile, and Corrib Park are the result of "growing resentment" among local communities at what they believe "is years of their local areas being neglected and forgotten".

This is the view of Independent Galway City East councillor, Declan McDonnell, who was speaking following a public meeting in Castle Park, attended by some 100 people, at which objections were aired towards plans for three houses on green areas within the estate. "The biggest complaint was that local communities had not been consulted at all by the council about the plans," he said.

Cllr McDonnell, who is also the chair of the Galway City Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, said there is a "shortage of housing" in the city and that providing accommodation is vital. However, he said "drawing up plans to put in these houses without consultation with residents associations in the areas is not the way to go about things". He described such an approach as "insulting".

He said the objections went less about "rejecting the houses", and were more about issues to do with estates being "neglected". According to Cllr McDonnell, many speakers at the meeting reported having "made numerous calls" to City Hall for alleyways to be cleaned, gullies to be drained, as well as issues relating to horses in the area, but "months later" are "still waiting for something to be done".

Cllr McDonnell warned that "unless there was a complete change" in the council’s attitude towards local consultation, then he would "have difficulty in voting for these houses". He added: "At this moment in time I am definitely supporting the residents."

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