Minister in city as harbour site for 250 homes handed over to LDA

Phelim O’Neill, Head of Property, Land Development Agency, and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD (centre)  at Galway Harbour alongside local politicians and representatives from the Galway Harbour Company and Galway City Council to announce the transfer of a 3-acre Galway Harbour site, with potential for more than 250 homes, to the LDA. 
Photo Andrew Downes

Phelim O’Neill, Head of Property, Land Development Agency, and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD (centre) at Galway Harbour alongside local politicians and representatives from the Galway Harbour Company and Galway City Council to announce the transfer of a 3-acre Galway Harbour site, with potential for more than 250 homes, to the LDA. Photo Andrew Downes

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD visited Galway Harbour on Monday to formally announce the transfer of a three-acre site, with the potential for over 250 homes, to the Land Development Agency (LDA ).

The land is being transferred from Galway Harbour Company after a period of extensive consultation involving the LDA, Galway Harbour Company and Galway City Council.

A feasibility study for the site has been drawn up by the LDA and the Agency will now proceed to a public consultation process with a planning application for a residential development expected to be made in 2025.

The site enjoys a unique setting in the city centre overlooking Lough Atalia and Galway Bay. The planned development of mainly affordable apartments is adjacent to Eyre Square, Spanish Arch and Ceannt Station, the city’s main transport hub.

Minister O’Brien was joined on site by Phelim O’Neill, Head of Property with the LDA, Maurice O’Gorman, Chairperson of Galway Harbour Company, Conor O’Dowd, Chief Executive of the Galway Harbour Company, and Patricia Philbin, Interim Chief Executive of Galway City Council.

Exciting development

Speaking on the site transfer and planned development, Minister O’Brien said this an exciting development for Galway and for the LDA and that he look forward to construction getting underway. The Government set up the LDA to find underutilised sites, assess their potential and ultimately develop them for housing at a time of pressing need.

“For this process to achieve results, it is vital that the state agencies in charge of sites identified by the LDA engage constructively and where possible, facilitate the transfer of land. I would like to thank both Galway Harbour Company and Galway City Council for their constructive engagement with the LDA.

“This land transfer will now be added to the LDA’s development pipeline which already includes plans for over 10,000 homes, with a series of developments on state-owned sites already under construction. As the process continues, we expect a steady stream of sites to be transferred to the LDA and we have ensured that the Agency is adequately financed to fund new developments,” he said.

Phelim O’Neill, Head of Property with the LDA, said that this land at Galway Harbour represents a fantastic opportunity for the development of affordable housing and the creation of a new community in a wonderful location.

“We were delighted to welcome Minister O’Brien to the site and to have the opportunity to outline our plans for the development of high quality, A-rated homes. The LDA has worked closely on this project with Galway Harbour Company and Galway City Council.

“We would like to thank both for their work in getting us to this stage as well as thanking the Government for its recent decision to approve the transfer of this and a number of other sites throughout the country.

“The LDA is rapidly becoming one of the country’s largest homebuilders and we are currently advancing 20 housing sites including a number which are under construction and will deliver homes this year,” he said.

Once in a generation opportunity

Conor O’Dowd, Chief Executive of Galway Harbour Company, said that the Galway Harbour Inner Dock Project represents a once-in-a generation opportunity to develop a new and sustainable urban quarter in Galway city and solidify Galway’s position as a driver of economic growth for the West of Ireland.

“It will provide new residential, commercial, recreational, and cultural facilities along the water’s edge leading to employment opportunities and new streams of recreational and cultural tourism for the city. “Transferring this land to the LDA is a key part of Phase 1 of the Project and will help ensure a mix of commercial, residential, and public uses in the area. We are pleased to work with the LDA and to play a part in helping to address Galway’s housing need.”

Patricia Philbin, Interim Chief Executive of Galway City Council said Galway City Council is proud to play its part in the economic and social regeneration of the harbour area.

“The plans envisaged for the harbour by the LDA provide a much sought after solution to our housing needs by delivering high quality homes in the heart of the city with excellent access to local transport links, retail and leisure facilities.

“We look forward to engaging with the LDA as it moves on to the next stage of the process, working with communities in Galway to deliver a development that satisfies the needs of the people of the city.” The plans for the harbour site are just one of a number of projects the LDA is working on in Galway. The Agency, which specialises in unlocking underutilised public land and the delivery of affordable housing, recently revealed ambitious plans to transform land surrounding Galway’s Sandy Road into a new urban quarter involving up to 750 mixed tenure homes including social and affordable units.

A draft spatial framework for the 24-acre site includes plans for a central park and a series of smaller garden courts, pocket parks and a public square. It also envisages high quality office and commercial space, alongside biodiverse landscaping and much-needed places to live, socialise and work close to Galway city centre.

The LDA is also developing plans to deliver housing on a 1.75-acre site at Dyke Road in Galway City Centre, which has been identified for redevelopment by Galway City Council.

 

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