'A shambles' — Councillors express frustration at slow progress of the Sailín to Silverstrand project

The slow progress at providing a coastal walk between the promenades at Salthill and Silverstrand has been branded "a shambles" by one Galway city councillor.

Fianna Fáil councillor Peter Keane made the remark after the chamber received a presentation from management on the project which informed members the delay was caused by the council having to commission consultants to review planning approval and the foreshore licence application to assess its validity in light of recent changes in legislation and a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ ) ruling.

Planning permission for the project was granted in September 2007 with a foreshore licence application lodged in 2014 and had still not been granted.

Cllr Keane said; "Planning permission has been granted for this. It has been a shambles how this entire project has been dealt with. These concerns should have been dealt with under the executive. I fear if we have another planning permission process it might be another 25 years.

"It is a fudge by this authority and fudge by Government to refuse a foreshore licence. It is a clear indication that Government has no intention of giving us a [foreshore] licence. [The Galway City Council] has failed to commit resources to this since planning permission was granted. There is no urgency from council.

"Stop wasting money on consultants. I am just bemused why we cannot get on with it and do it."

Independent councillor Donal Lyons also expressed his frustration at the long delay and voiced his concerns over the future of the beach at Silverstrand if something was not done about the severe erosion.

Cllr Lyons said; "It is a real catch 22 situation. We need to build this sea wall to protect the coastal stretch from erosion, but by doing so, the concern is that the work will impact on the protected habitat.

"But it is a ridiculous impasse - If we do not act and act quickly, we will see erosion destroying that very habitat that is causing the hold up now. It is already started and it will not stop until we have the protection in place."

The Galway City Council senior planner Carmel Kilcoyne told councillors that planning permission for the project was granted in September 2007 with a foreshore licence application lodged in 2014.

Ms Kilcoyne also informed the councillor that there was €300,000 set aside for the project.

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