There is significant opposition among a number of residents in Knocknacarra against a proposal to build a new pub and restaurant at a site off the busy Clybaun roundabout. A planning application was lodged regarding this development on May 29 and submissions will be accepted until July 2.
A meeting on the issue was attended by about 60 local residents last week where a unanimous decision was taken to commission a formal objection to the developmen. Another meeting takes place this evening in the Clybaun Hotel. However those behind the development said the proposed bar/restaurant would provide more than 180 new jobs locally and would have a detailed project management, traffic management, and safety plans.
The proposed plans consist of retail space, a public house, restaurant, and a financial institution. A number of residents' associations in the area have voiced concerns regarding traffic congestion, parking, antisocial behaviour, and other issues.
According to local councillor Pearce Flannery, who is also chairman of the Hawthorn Place Residents Association, locals already have concerns about safety issues at the roundabout due to the volume of traffic which uses this route on a daily basis. "There are three schools in this immediate vicinity of this roundabout and an Educate Together facility is moving into the old Gaelscoil site. As a father of three young children myself, I see at first-hand the chaos people are experiencing. This roundabout is already extremely busy and certainly a development on a major traffic thoroughfare, which will soon have at least four schools within striking distance, will have potentially serious consequences in terms of road safety.''
Cllr Flannery says he also has serious concerns on the impact such a huge development on a constrained site will have on the area and the community. "This is essentially a residential area. We are not necessarily against the development, but this site is inappropriate for the development. The proposal may work but not on this site. Along with the traffic concerns, you cannot say that there will not be noise issues from the pub and restaurant.''
However John Mannion of Highcross Developments, which has lodged the planning application to build the proposed bar/restaurant, says the development will provide more than 180 new jobs locally - 100 in the construction phase and 80 full-time jobs on opening - and see an investment of more than €5 million in construction and fit-out.
"It will be a major boost to the general Knocknacarra area," Mr Mannion told the Galway Advertiser. "The finished development will serve the Knocknacarra area and community, and will include as its primary focus a top-quality licensed restaurant, seating 100 people, a small public bar, and office spaces for local businesses, as well as two retail and a financial services unit, over three floors. Already it has been welcomed by local people as an important resource in an area that is poorly serviced."
The group behind the scheme, which also runs The Dáil Bar and the Brasserie On The Corner restaurant, say the development will have detailed project management, traffic management, and safety plans, that "will ensure the planned development has minimal impact on the community". The building plans will be available to the public to view in the coming weeks.