Three residents’ associations have joined forces to object to a proposed development which they perceive to be totally out of character with the Rahoon area and could bring about a return to the days of “flatland”.
Well over 500 signatures have now been gathered by the residents’ associations of Ros Geal, Gort Greinne, and Grangemore, which have been drumming up support to object to a proposed apartment and retail development which will be located at the entrance of Millar’s Lane and will overlook Rahoon cemetery.
The planning application, lodged by Mr Frank Kelly, is currently with the council planning department. It seeks permission for a development which will involve the demolishment of the existing dwelling house, the construction of a three storey building consisting of four commerical units and six apartments, 21 car parking, and also advocates the knocking down of existing mature trees.
According to residents: “The development is totally out of scale for the area, will add to congestion, and traffic dangers, and is unneccessary given the glut of housing stock and retail units available. In addition the proposal to remove existing mature trees would go against the city council’s green credentials.
“At three storeys high the development is completely out of character with adjacent buildings. It will affect the quality of life and the privacy of family homes in the vicinity, and it will be a blot on the horizon in an area where residents have worked hard to improve the quality of the local environment.
“If the development is allowed to proceed it will be a retrograde step in the planning process of Galway city given the number of residents who oppose it. Recently we have all seen the result of bad planning decisions countrywide. Now is the time to call a halt, and to put people before developers who are only concerned with profits.”
Supporting the residents in their stance is city councillor Catherine Connolly who frankly said the development was “not pretty”, was a major concern, and was not needed.
“I don’t see the need for more apartments and retail units. The design is not pleasant, it’s not in keeping with the local area. There are serious traffic implications and the development will be impinging on the amenity of Millar’s Lane which is protected.
“The instensity of the development concerns me. There’s a whole commercial centre [Gateway retail park] very near. The council were on about creating a heart, a core, for Knocknacarra, and now they are going to consider this type of retail away from the core. If the council planner gives permission for this development it will be failing to learn from past mistakes. There are empty houses and retail space all over the city and here we are building extra apartments and retail,” she said.
Local city councellor Donal Lyons believes that the “sheer height and density of the development has implications for the character of the area”, and will cause an increase in traffic pressure. He says that there is already sufficient land zoned for retail purposes in Knockncarra, namely the 30 acres or more land which is now home to the Gateway retail park, and that the council needs to realise its full potential first. “Any other piece-meal zoning should not be considered until we see out the full potential of this development [Gateway]. I am supporting the residents in their stance,” says Cllr Lyons.