Fight over Headford Road car park goes back to An Bord Pleanála

Galway Daily news Fight over Headford Road car park goes back to An Bord Pleanála

A long running tug of war between the city council and the operators of a car park on the Headford Road has gone back to An Bord Pleanála.

Cleverson Ltd is seeking temporary retention permission for a 53 space car park on the Headford Road.

This lot makes up part of the site of a planned 223 bed student accommodation complex, which has already received planning permission.

The developer said that work is currently expected to begin on that project by late 2022, and that they wish to keep the car park operating until it does.

Galway City Council rejected the retention application, noting that there has long been contention between the council and the owners of this site.

The former Esso Garage site was converted to its current usage without planning permission in 2012, and the owner had to go to An Bord Pleanála for temporary permission after the council rejected it. This was later extended in 2017.

In refusing permission, the city council said that permitting it would be in conflict with the Galway Transport Strategy, which aims to “reduce car parking provision and manage availability” in the city centre to encourage sustainable transport.

The rejection also said that the car park would “exacerbate the poor visual address” on the Headford Road, and undermine ambitions for the regeneration of the area.

This decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála, with Cleverson arguing that the impact of this 53 space car park is limited when there is a much larger council operated one next to it on the Dyke Road.

It also reemphasises that the developer is only seeking to keep the car park until August 2022, or until work begins on the student accommodation complex, whichever comes first.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on this planning appeal by April 1 of next year.