An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for Seapoint redevelopment

Plans approved for commercial and residential development around Seapoint casino

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a commercial and residential development around the Seapoint building in Salthill.

Oldside Enterprises planned to demolish multiple buildings on the Upper Salthill Road, including extensions to the leisure centre itself.

This would have involved completely demolishing two buildings on the Upper Salthill Road, numbers 183 and 185, one two-storey and one three-storey, next to Seapoint.

In its place they planned a new three storey building, with the ground floor given over to an extension of Seapoint, and with seven apartments on the top two floors.

To the south and east of the main Seapoint building, a single storey annex facing onto the Salthill Promenade was also to be demolished.

There Oldside planned to build a four storey structure, with retail units on the ground flood, a café upstairs, and a five-bedroom duplex unit above that.

Galway City Council refused planning permission for the development in October of last year, saying that it would be a “discordant prominent feature” in the Salthill setting due to its bulky nature and poor streetscape assimilation.

The council also said that it would negatively impact the goal of enhancing the public area next to the site, and criticised the increased plot density compared to what is presently there.

Oldside appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanála, arguing that the buildings being demolished do not make good use of the space.

The appeal states that the extended shopfront would have continuity with the existing Seapoint façade, and that the new elevations are in keeping with what is present on the Salthill Road.

It argues that it is not clear why the city council was not satisfied with the design of the proposal.

An Bord Pleanála upheld the city council’s original decision, refusing planning permission.

“It is considered that the proposed development would provide a poor standard of design in the context of the character of the surrounding built environment and public realm amenity areas,” the decision stated.

This resulting from its “scale, mass and form, including a lack of coherence provided by the projecting and setback elements and opening to the west and south elevations, and the continuous horizontal design emphasis adjacent to number 183 Upper Salthill Road and the adjoining properties”.

The board said that the design wouldn’t respect the existing character of the adjoining properties on Upper Salthill, or contribute to improving the public realm at such a visually prominent location.