An Bord Pleanála decisions upending progress on housing developments is ‘frustrating’ Mayor

Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins has expressed her deep frustration with the progress of housing developments in the City as a consequence of flat refusals from An Bord Pleanala.

Mayor Higgins was reacting to the fact that two developments at Ballymoneen Road in Knocknacarra were recently refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála; 68 private units and 71 social units at Keeraun.

“The reason given for the refusal is that the development would be piecemeal, with inadequate provision of social and physical infrastructure and that such a development would be excessively car dependent,” she said, adding that 139 families in the City have been denied a home as a consequence of this decision.

“This is just not good enough. The Council has been working so hard to increase supply, affordability and diversity of homes throughout Galway and the refusal of these developments, and a further 24 units at Castlegar a few months ago for similar reasons, is proving to be exceptionally challenging to all of us committed to housing delivery,” she concluded.

Mayor Higgins continued “It’s really incredulous that we cannot get planning on zoned land. It is demoralising, we are all trying to work together to increase supply of housing yet we are constantly being prevented with flat refusals instead of constructive approvals containing conditions”.

“When you pair it all back, we have an urgent requirement for housing and the Council and private developers are willing to develop sites to meet our housing needs, yet we have an independent agency of the state essentially working against our collective objectives”.

Mayor Higgins concluded “Enough is enough, we need to tackle this issue head on, because if we don’t we will continue walking around on glue on housing delivery. To that end, I am setting down an emergency motion at the next council meeting requesting that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’ Brien and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan meets with the members of Galway City Council to discuss this issue, because we desperately need a way forward that will deliver for this city and the families in it”.


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