Galway City Council has granted planning permission for a major commercial and residential development on the northern outskirts of the city.
Strategic Land Investments LTD has been been given approval for a mixed use development consisting of 13 blocks at City North Business Park on the Tuam Road, to be delivered in three phases.
The development would comprise eight apartment blocks, ranging from two to eight storeys tall, containing 248 apartments.
The original plans were for nine blocks of 309 apartments, but one building was removed, and two others reduced in scale, after the city council expressed concerns about the amount of the project given over to residential use, when the land is zoned C1 (Enterprise, Light Industry, and Commercial).
A 222 bedroom hotel with a restaurant and bar, and conference facilities, will also be built as part of the project, but a proposed 72 bedroom apart-hotel has been omitted from the plans to also reduce the amount of space given to residential usage.
A leisure centre and spa, with an indoor swimming pool and gym, will also make up part of the recreational amenity of the area.
The commercial side of the project will include four office blocks ranging from four to five storeys in height, with a total floor space of 25,527sqm.
Due to the amount of housing in the proposal, a creche is also included in the plans, as is a cultural centre with a variety of proposed community facilities including .
For public open space, the developer has inserted a central park area where one block of housing was omitted, and landscaped green areas will also be created along the eastern and western boundaries of the site.
Access to the site for vehicles will be from a new signalised junction onto the N83 Tuam Road, with additional pedestrian and cycling links at other locations.
The site will be served by a total of 908 car parking spaces, an increase from the original proposal, with a mix of surface and sub-basement parking. The developer has also proposed a shuttle bus service connecting the new quarter to the city centre.
Planning permission was granted for the development by the city council with 44 conditions attached. The period of the permission is seven years, less than the ten year permission sought by the developer.
Before work begins the developer must pay a contribution of €4,339,668 to the council towards the cost of providing public services to the area.
The council also stipulated that the offices may only be used for: Data Processing, Software Development, Information Technology, Commercial Laboratories, Creative Media, Telemarketing and Publishing, or Other Technology/IT related uses.
Two specific units within the development must also be designated as a community shop and a café respectively, and their use may not change without further planning permission.
An area must also be set aside for a public bike scheme, to be licenced to the city council/NTA, and an agreed upon number of parking spaces must be reserved exclusively for the public, with no staff parking.
Work which will take place on the Tuam Road, and pedestrian linkages to lands to the north and east of the site, must also be agreed on with the council before any work begins.
This planning permission is also contingent on a detailed landscaping plan being agreed on, work on which must be completed before each phase of the development.