Derelict Salthill cottage coming back to life as café and restaurant

Galway Daily news Planning appeal over 91 houses & apartments in Athenry

A derelict cottage on the shores of the bay in Salthill will be getting a facelift as a new café and restaurant after An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission.

McHugh Property Holding plans to refurbish a derelict cottage at Backrock in Salthill for use as a café and restaurant.

The development will also involve the construction of a standalone building which will be used as a bike rental and maintenance store.

The higher planning authority overturned a decision by the city council to refuse planning permission for this project in March.

The city council gave six reasons for refusing permission, four of which were connected to travel and transport in the area.

The café/repair shop would interfere with efforts to deliver a Barna Cycle Greenway route along Salthill, and contravenes measures of the Galway Transport Strategy the council said.

It was also argued that the development would pose a traffic hazard near a junction on a busy city road.

The other reasons for refusal said that this commercial development would impact on the amenity value of the area and would “detract from the attractiveness and character of the area”.

An appeal against this decision was lodged by McHugh Property Holding which said that the application had been amended to address traffic and greenway issues, and that the design would have a minimal visual impact.

The initial design included the construction of an 18 space car park and vehicular access, both of which were removed from the amended proposal.

The café would also enhance the recreational value of the area it was argued, with a bike repair and rental facility next to a Greenway route and a café for people using the beach and Blackrock diving tower nearby.

The planning authority’s inspector agreed with the city council’s views, however An Bord Pleanála chose to go against her recommendation and grant permission.

The board said that it was satisfied that with the amendments to the design made after the council’s rejection “the proposed development would not adversely affect the visual character or qualities of the Salthill area”.

Planning permission was granted for the café and bike repair/rental store with ten conditions attached.