It is time for councillors to do the right thing and undo the “reckless, negligent and thoughtless re-zonings” they voted for in the Galway City Development Plan.
This is the view of Labour Galway West candidate councillor Derek Nolan, who is calling on his fellow councillors to “undo the disastrous re-zonings” which were included during the main stages for drafting the plan last September.
There was considerable controversy at the time as a majority of councillors voted against the explicit advice of the planners and rezoned 20 acres of land for commercial use. City planners objected to the re-zonings, arguing they were against Galway’s retail strategy, and attacked the viability and vibrancy of commercial life in the city centre.
The development plan is due to be completed at meetings tomorrow and Monday, and due to public objections the controversial commercial rezonings will have to be voted on again.
Cllr Nolan is particularly concerned about the re-zoning at the Galway clinic roundabout where councillors zoned adjacent land for a petrol station and drive-through restaurant.
“This zoning occurred despite pleas from city planners to the contrary,” he said. “It was pointed out that the NRA would likely refuse access to the location as it is on a primary road and between a traffic light junction and roundabout.
“Moreover, they said that any development at this location would be a major threat to public safety and a serious traffic hazard. To see some councillors blindly ignore this advice, and vote regardless was something I thought I would never see in the chamber.”