NUI Galway is seeking planning permission for a new watersports centre for rowing, kayaking, and diving on the River Corrib.
The university has submitted plans to the city council for the new facility on its lands in the north campus, by the Quincentenary Bridge.
This watersports facility would comprise equipment storage facilities, changing rooms, drying room, bathrooms, reception, first aid, café, plant room, and a gym.
It would also contain and ergo training room, function room, kitchenette, mother and baby room, communications room, offices and test room.
Outside a boat storage shed would be built, along with two floating pontoons on the bank of the Corrib for boats to come and go from.
“The proposed Water Sports Centre will cater for the needs of the University Watersports Clubs of Rowing, Kayak, and Sub Aqua,” a cover report with the application states.
“The new centre is designed to provide state of the art training facilities for watersports that NUI Galway has excelled at both national and international level.”
“This Centre will build on these performances, such as the most recent success of an Olympic medal at the Tokyo games.”
This move will see the university’s watersports teams move from their current location beside the weir, to a “more secure” and safer spot for river users.
Along with the specific watersports teams, it is also expected that the centre will be used by athletes in GAA, soccer, rugby, athletics, boxing, and others.
All told, an estimated 350 to 450 athletes will make use of the centre, which does include a gym, with watersports accounting for roughly 150 of these.
A pedestrian and cycling route linking in with the existing riverside walkway are also part of the landscaping plans for the site.
Also part of the landscaping for the site will be the planting of a grove of native ash, alder, birch, and oak tress by the pedestrian tunnel under the bridge, while also relocating existing trees.
There will not be any dedicated car parking for the facility, with parking contained at the existing park & ride car park. The plans do include 30 short-stay bicycle parking spaces.
A Natura Impact Statement and Ecological Impact Assessment reports were submitted with this planning application.
A decision on whether to grant planning permission is due from Galway City Council by July 7 of this year.