Galway county council has refused permission for the first floor of a building in Tuam to be converted into apartments.
Planning permission was sought to change the use of multiple retail units and a coffee shop at Lár na Cathrach, Tuam to apartments.
The development would have consisted of 12 one-bed and 5 two-bed apartments covering roughly 1,600m².
They would take the place of designated retail space at the four storey Lár na Cathrach building which has been lying vacant since the building was constructed.
The ground floor also consists of retail units, largely occupied, while the third and fourth floors are for residential use.
JHL Manufacturing Company, who were seeking planning permission, said this development would result in “the delivery of a benefit to the town centre by putting existing vacant floorspace to use”.
“The provision of housing in the town centre, over the shop, literally in this instance, is not only a major objective, but an imperative of national and local planning policy and as such the principal of the proposed development is in our opinion not only acceptable but should be actively supported by the local planning authority.”
In refusing permission for the development Galway County Council said that there was no private open space for 16 of the 17 apartments in the plans and that several lacked adequate storage areas.
The council also said that there wasn’t enough clarity regarding the proposed carparking for the development and that there was no design statement from Irish Water included.
Without that, “it has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the planning authority that the public water mains and public sewer infrastructure has the capacity to cater for the additional loading and water supply needs arising”.