€5 million city centre office development refused approval once again

Galway Daily news €5 million city centre office development rejected again

A proposed €5 million office development in Galway city centre has been rejected again after taking its case to An Bord Pleanála.

Planning permission for the proposed office development, which has an estimated value of €5.2 million, was refused by Galway City Council last September.

The development by the O’Malley Group involved the demolition of an existing building known as the St. Clare’s Walk building on St Augustine Street and building a new seven storey office building its place.

The development would also have included a significant expansion of the Hynes Building, which houses Galway City Library on its ground floor.

The ground floor library itself would have been enlarged, and three new floors of office space would have been built on top of the existing building profile.

One objection was lodged against this development by MetLife Global Technology, who currently lease office space within the existing Hynes building.

MetLife said that they were never consulted on this project and claimed that it would have a serious impact on their premises and endanger their safe usage.

In appealing the city council’s decision, the O’Malley Group said that the existing St. Clare’s Walk building is “inefficient and not up to modern standard” and that the new building would have a positive impact on the city centre.

The council’s concern with the plot density of the proposed development was also brushed off, with the developer arguing that previous work on this site with a higher density had been approved.

Planning permission was refused again by An Bord Pleanála based on the proposed design of the building, in particular the heavy framed elements which project beyond the building line.

“It is considered that the proposed development would provide an overbearing expression onto the streetscape, would offers little relationship with the surrounding urban fabric and would detract from the character of the area.

The board also said that the proposed development was excessive in scale and have a “detrimental impact” on the “visual integrity of the streetscape”.

“The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and unsustainable development of the area,” the decision concluded.