State-owned properties, including Ceannt Station and Galway Port could be used as sites in which to develop affordable housing and alleviate the accommodation crisis in the city.
This is the view of the Mayor of Galway, Labour city councillor Niall McNelis, who said that Ceannt Station, Galway Port, and Galway Airport, as well as parts of Nuns’ Island, Dyke Road, Liosbán, Ardaun, and Knocknacarra, are directly owned by the State or owned through State-owned organisations.
“This land is ultimately owned by the people of Ireland," the Mayor said. "Why can’t some of it be used to address the need for housing in our city centres and at the same time kick-start urban regeneration and repopulation?”
Mayor McNeilis also called for changes to planning legislation to reduce what he called "nuisance’ objections which delay development needlessly". However he also called for local authorities to make their development plans "more transparent" and to encourage "more participation and debate as they are being formed". He said: “If people feel more ownership of a plan, they are less likely to object."
The Mayor made his comments at the recent Ireland’s Cities: Powerhouses of Regional Growth conference which was held in NUI Galway.