Municipal District Council members were fully briefed on new Council housing developments at St. Josephs and Dunlo Street at their recent monthly meeting.
After nearly 20 months of planning and scoping , where even bat colony issues had to be reviewed and considered the Galway County Council Executive have reached the point where they can begin the formal PART 8 planning process in constructing housing at these sites as part of an infill development project and Dunlo Hill Regneration Project.
In essence the St Josephs construction project will finish out the estate tidily and sympathetically to its original ethos and the Dooleys Corner to the Mount will address a significant area of acute dereliction in the heart of the town.
The St Joesph’s Place development will cover a total area of roughly 0.8 acres consisting of eight two-storey terraces, each with two bedroom units suitable for families. An ideal location for infill, although reliefs are in place regarding flooding issues in the area. Director of Services for Housing, Liam Hanrahan mentioned that the land was owned by Galway County Council and discussed how these small properties were to fit with pre-existing developments at the site.
Cllr. Dermot Connolly emphasised that the “ethos of estate” must be maintained and that he hoped to replicate the success featured at Garbally Drive.
Mr. Hanrahan advised that the part 8 for St. Josephs will be brought before the members in early 2023 .
The derelict buildings at the 1.8 acre site on Dunlo street, including seven two-storey dwellings, a three-storey over basement premises and another adjacent three storey building consisting of a total 12-15 bedroom units, will be completely revamped.
This housing will likely be prioritized for elderly people with mobility issues on the town’s housing waiting list to provide them convenient access to the town centre facilities .
On the insistence of Cllr. Dermot Connolly the external stone structure and architectural character to the building will be maintained and conserved, while the interior will be modified to allow accommodation units to be put in place. Director Liam Hanrahan hopes these refurbishments to the building will provide a more pleasant image for people entering into Ballinasloe West. Consideration was given to communal uses for the ground floor bar and shop but this proved too difficult.
Cllr Dr. Evelyn Parsons was also in favour of a memorial plaque or some other commemorative memorial be installed for Irish Bilingual poet Eoghan Ó Tuairisc at the site, who was a highly influential and internationally recognised author who was born and lived at the third house on the row.
Director Hanrahan advised that staff are waiting for the completion of some surveys and pending their arrival they will move to Part 8 as soon as possible.
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