The creation of a new neighbourhood located along the Sandy Road has moved onto the next stage as the Galway City Council agreed to release the design proposals for public consultation.
The major regeneration project is hoping to provide in the region of 1,000 housing units along with an emphasis on pedestrian friendly streets, cycling routes, and commercial hubs at the 8.63 hectare brownfield site.
Five registered architects from Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland which was commissioned by the Land Development Agency and the council to undertake a design review, have put forward different proposals for the project.
One proposal suggests that a portion of the existing depot building at Sandy Road should be reused and adapted as a commercial or cultural hub.
Another calls for Terryland Forest Park be extended and upgraded to create a new cycling and walking infrastructure which would deliver commuters from Sandy Road directly to the city centre to the south, and business parks to the north.
Commenting on the proposals, chief executive of the Galway City Council told members at Monday’s meeting at Leisureland that it was estimated the project would take seven years with phase one being completed within the lifetime of the council.
The proposals were welcomed by councillors, however, concerns were raised over the possibility of shared communal rooms and the provision of 430 car parking spaces to be on the site.
Independent councillor Colette Connolly said she was “horrified” at the prospect of 430 car parking spaces being created at the site.
She said; “I don’t know what planet you’re living on. We are talking about climate action and change of behaviour. We can’t talk about that if you’re using 430 [car parking] spaces.”
Fianna Fáil councillor John Connolly and Social Democrats councillor Owen Hanley both questioned the appropriateness of communal living and dining spaces in the context of Covid-19 measures with the latter declaring; “Co-living was not acceptable pre-Covid and [therefore] after Covid.”
The full design and review report can be viewed at GalwayCity.ie
The public is encouraged to submit views on the plans by email to [email protected] no later than July 31 2020.