The Galway City broadcaster is the big winner as the national radio station revamps the pack – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:
Only one submission has been received for a mandatory purchase order on a section of a very busy rat race between Tuam and Headford roads which could open up a large swath of land for development if approved.
Galway City Council has asked An Bord Pleanála to compulsorily purchase over 500 meters of land along Bother an Chóiste in Castlegar, next to land it already owns, where a previous application to build 48 houses failed due to road width circa 2007.
This land is on the same side of the road as the Cluain Riocaird estate. There is another private land bank of over six hectares on the other side of Bothar an Chóiste also zoned residential which could accommodate up to 400 units which would also benefit from the widening of the road.
No applications have been filed for the development, but any approval would depend on an improvement to the road which is widely used by motorists to avoid traffic jams at the city’s two busiest junctions.
A Council spokesperson told the Galway City Tribune that the CPO’s aim is not to improve the transit route between Headford Road and Tuam Road, but to facilitate access to a plot of its own land for the housing development.
“The land take is not designed to be a transportation measure. Bothar an Chóiste is not intended to serve as anything more than an entry and exit point for local residents. The extent to which we are improving is the extent of residential zoned land,” he said.
A valid submission was received by the end of December deadline and forwarded by the Board of Directors to the Council for review.
If the CPO is approved by a Bord Pleanála, the Council will prepare a design for the housing and road widening and seek funding from the Housing Department. He would also be required to seek approval from Galway City Councilors for a Part 8 development.
A request to build 74 houses a short distance down the road from the school has been turned down by An Bord Pleanála after being turned down by Council who asked the developer, Altitude Distribution, to increase the housing density. The appeal board found that the development would be a hazard to traffic due to the width of the road and gaps in the development due to site constraints.
A resident of Bothar an Chóiste told the Galway City Tribune there were no details of what measures would be implemented to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on what was already a busy road.
“From a road safety perspective, a marginal widening of the road will only add to the already endemic ‘rat run’ culture, as cars will have a straighter road on which they can drive faster, with more of danger to pedestrians, cyclists, families with pushchairs and young children traveling to and from accommodations to local shops, the Ballinfoile Castlegar neighborhood centre, schools and other amenities,” it said. she predicts.
“Making this road easier for cars to navigate by widening it means that even bigger and heavier vehicles that currently avoid it because it is narrow and winding will make it even more detrimental to vulnerable road users.
“Housing units are welcome, but these developments should have essential services and safe interconnected infrastructure for the most vulnerable road users at the heart of road widening proposals. It is counterproductive to propose a widening of the road without thoughtful walking and cycling paths that will further lock local residents into car culture.
The council spokesperson said the design would facilitate pedestrian movement and street lighting to encourage active travel.
An Bord Pleanála is due to render its decision in May.