The Industrial Development Authority (IDA ) has told Galway city west councillor Donal Lyons that it is fully committed to bringing new industry to the Knocknacarra and Rahoon areas of the city.
At a meeting with Cllr Lyons and Deputy Noel Grealish, the IDA stressed the importance of retaining the industrial zoning on lands in Rahoon if they are to succeed in is efforts to bring industry and jobs to the area.
Cllr Lyons who is seeking re-election to the Galway City Council on May 24 said that pressure is likely to come from land owners in the area to have their holdings rezoned for residential use, which would make them much more valuable but he was determined to fight this.
“I, very strongly, support the establishment of industries on these lands, which would have the potential to bring hundreds of new jobs to the west of the city. This would greatly reduce the number of people having to travel across town, in ever increasing traffic volumes, to jobs on the east of the city, like at Parkmore and Ballybrit where so many major employers are based.
“Now that the economy is improving, the lands at Rahoon should be developed as soon as possible and the IDA representatives at our meeting last Friday indicated their full support for this. They did stress, however, the importance of those lands retaining their industrial zoning, which I fully support. It is highly likely that when it comes to drafting the next city development plan, the owners of these lands will try to increase their value by having the zoning changed so that houses can be built there.
“But I cannot stress enough the importance of having a land bank available for industries to come to the area and bring possibly hundreds of jobs. We already have big employers like Allergan, Aviva and RSA insurance companies in the area but we need to attract more. It would benefit everyone in the city, not just those living in Knocknacarra, as it would reduce the number of cross-city journeys being made at peak times. And it would greatly improve the work-life balance for people locally if they don’t have to spend frustrating hours every day in traffic.”