Galway City Council is due to make a decision this week on whether to grant approval for the construction of a new convent building on Nuns’ Island.
The Presentation Sisters intend to build a modern new convent just to the north of their existing building, facing onto the canal at Nuns’ Island next to St. Joseph’s Church.
They intend to build a 14 bedroom convent building, with other facilities including an oratory, reception, living/dining area, and an administrator’s apartment.
Other work involved in the project will include the demolition of an extension to Presentation National School and several outbuildings.
Last October the city council asked why the Presentation NS had not been factored into the design, to which it was answered that there would be no intensification of use on site, as the school is to be abandoned.
The disused school building itself, a Protected Structure, will be converted into part of the living quarters of the new facilities, which will require that installation of two new staircases and six new windows.
In response to a request from the city council the proposed design was altered to move the new convent building further back from the banks of the canal.
An addendum to the Architectural Heritage Assessment Report said that the new buildings would have a minimal impact on the 18th century Walled Gardens which make up part of the site.
“The selected location of the building avoids any significant impact on the main axis paths, any mature trees, and the main features of note”.
It also stated that the development would have no impact on the Protected Structure of Eglinton Canal and Waterways.
A Flood Risk Assessment, Appropriate Assessment for an NIS, and an Ecological Impact Assessment report were submitted with this planning application.
An application cover letter from Sean Dockery & Associates architects said “This application is primarily for a new convent building for the sisters within the boundaries of the current premises.”
“It will facilitate a residency to current standards with a building suitable to meet their needs in a manner that is compliant with current Building Regulations”.
Galway City Council is due to decide on whether to grant planning permission for this convent by Thursday, March 26.