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Augustine Hill development told to scale down significantly

  • 29-08-2020 9:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ NellyBellyJelly


    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/galway-council-wants-monolithic-development-with-21-storey-tower-scaled-down-1.4341188

    The promoters of a €320 million mixed use, urban regeneration development in Galway city centre, which includes plans for a 21-storey tower, have been told to scale down the scheme significantly because of the threat it posed to “the unique character of the city”.

    Galway City Council has postponed a decision on an application by Seagullpoint for planning permission for the proposed Augustine Hill development on a 3.5 hectare site adjacent to Ceannt railway station just off Eyre Square amid concern by planners about the scale of the project.
    .....

    The council recommended that the new plans should be “of outstanding architectural design instead of how they currently present with little variety in design, finish and excessive bulk”.
    .....

    Planners criticised the residential element of the plans claiming there is an insufficient mix as 65 per cent of apartments are designated as build-to-rent, while 73 per cent are two-bed units.

    A proposed childcare facility with capacity for 81 children has also been deemed inadequate.

    .....

    It also questioned the scale of retail space given the recent closure of several large shops in the area and expressed concern that the development could “cannibalise the remainder of the city centre leaving vacant premises all over in its wake”.

    Local Green Party councillor Martina O’Connor expressed regret that the council had left it to private developers to design a masterplan for the city centre, while also questioning if Galway needed another hotel and cinema.

    “The masterplan has been created to maximise profits for the developer and is not considerate of the needs of the people of Galway,” she added.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,469 ✭✭✭ Laviski


    this is total BS... planner need to understand we need to build up not out.....
    objection shouldn't be against the height, the other factors may be considered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 se25


    Maybe if GCC had a plan /blueprint which developers could work with would help..Always seems to to be developer led with usual delays, expense and never ending appeals.
    Surely apartment design should be family orientated to bring back life to our urban centers, and not just focus on the rental sector.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,895 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    se25 wrote: »
    Surely apartment design should be family orientated to bring back life to our urban centers, and not just focus on the rental sector.

    City centres are not appropriate living environments for families: children simply do not need to be exposed to the levels of ASB and noise that they come with. (And I say that as a city-centre resident).

    Most apartments in a place like this should be 2brm, for single workers, retirees, and child-free couples. And there's nothing wrong with having plenty of rentals either: the city is woefully short of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ NellyBellyJelly


    se25 wrote: »
    Maybe if GCC had a plan /blueprint which developers could work with would help..Always seems to to be developer led with usual delays, expense and never ending appeals.

    It seems crazy to me that GCC allows developers to draw up masterplans for areas, surely a masterplan drawn up by GCC which had all of this worked out would be better. The city development plan is generally quite vague. Allowing developers to draw up masterplans is like having foxes design hen houses.


    What I think is more important and should be discussed more is what is the actual rental price of these apartments going to be and will there be demand if they are at a luxury price point? (I'm thinking about this report about Dublin Docklands https://www.98fm.com/news/hundreds-of-high-rent-luxury-dublin-apartments-lying-empty-971988) and also is there demand for the retail units?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,186 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    21 storeys seems too high???

    10 would be plenty.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    Currently City Point is supposed to be the tallest building in town.
    It's not pretty.

    image.jpg

    Build up, sure, but not in the city centre. Build outside it.
    Build big buildings in Parkmore, Dangan and Anthenry. Make these places larger and don't add congestion to the city centre.
    City planners said the landmark 21-storey tower lacked a distinctive design and quality as well as having a poor relationship with the rest of the development.
    I agree.

    From Lonely Planet to The New York Times, Galway has been voted the 'most charming' city by a number of global publications. This will make the city worse, not better.

    image.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 145 ✭✭ LostDuck


    biko wrote: »
    Build up, sure, but not in the city centre. Build outside it.
    Build big buildings in Parkmore, Dangan and Anthenry. Make these places larger and don't add congestion to the city centre.

    Building up in the city centre reduces congestion as residents can either work/live in the city centre (foot/bike) or they're at the hub of all the public transport routes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 145 ✭✭ LostDuck


    biko wrote: »
    Currently City Point is supposed to be the tallest building in town.
    It's not pretty.

    image.jpg

    Surprised to hear this - I would have thought the buildings at the docks were taller....

    dockgate1-1-1030x683.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,895 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    CutyPoint is highest because its on a hill to start with. Personally I like the design.

    Traffic in Parkmore is already a shítshow, with few methods of solving it. Vs the city centre which can be fixed with trains and p&r from several directions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,075 ✭✭✭ Wompa1


    I also like the design of City Point. It doesn't look out of place.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 457 ✭✭ Smegging hell


    Can Galway City really sustain five cinemas (not including Oranmore)? Meanwhile there's no proper cinema in the whole of east Galway.


  • Site Banned Posts: 1 Black Tom


    A 21 story tower, in some hideous modern architectural style, looming over Eyre Square?

    No thanks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 145 ✭✭ LostDuck


    CutyPoint is highest because its on a hill to start with.

    biko said tallest not highest


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    It was when it was new, of course that's 10 years ago now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,964 ✭✭✭ Ficheall


    I see Black Tom is banned, but I'm going to agree with him anyway. A 21-storey tower in the middle of Galway sounds hideous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,696 ✭✭✭ BeardySi


    The 21 storey tower was never what they wanted to build - it's a ridiculous proposal for the place that's intended to be turned down.

    They then can come back with their real proposal which will still be awful, but less so, as a "compromise" which they'll hope will pass planning...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy


    Ficheall wrote: »
    I see Black Tom is banned, but I'm going to agree with him anyway. A 21-storey tower in the middle of Galway sounds hideous.

    Just to play devils advocate a little bit. Would a large tower (maybe not quite 21 floors), in a separate quarter set among other medium size buildings, as Augustine Hill would be. Be that bad? We're not talking about putting the complex in the middle of shop street. It would back up onto Bonham Quay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 795 ✭✭✭ westgolf


    cooperguy wrote: »
    Just to play devils advocate a little bit. Would a large tower (maybe not quite 21 floors), in a separate quarter set among other medium size buildings, as Augustine Hill would be. Be that bad? We're not talking about putting the complex in the middle of shop street. It would back up onto Bonham Quay.

    Continuing with the devil's advocate role, Bonham quay is 8 stories, Augustine will be built in the railway yards above it. So a 20 storey tower built there would be in effect be almost 30 stories when viewed from Dock Road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭ cooperguy


    westgolf wrote: »
    Continuing with the devil's advocate role, Bonham quay is 8 stories, Augustine will be built in the railway yards above it. So a 20 storey tower built there would be in effect be almost 30 stories when viewed from Dock Road.

    I could be wrong, but looking up an Elevation Finder there is only maybe 5 meters difference in elevation which would add a floor or two in perceived height?

    Not that I'm arguing for a 20 storey tower either, but something in the teens say? Not that I'm convinced that's right, I'm open to persuasion either way!


  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ NellyBellyJelly


    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/reduction-in-size-of-landmark-galway-development-1.4530497

    "In response to a public consultation and feedback from Galway City Council, the total area of development has been reduced by 11 per cent from 128,080sq m to 114,161sq m.

    The original plan had 11 towers, the tallest of which is 21 storeys, making it the highest residential building in Ireland. It is being retained, but the number of other towers is being reduced from 10 to nine. The nine tower blocks have been reduced by either one or two storeys.

    The quantity of public open space proposed has been increased by 3,544sqm, with increased activities and sculptures provided for within the open space areas throughout the development. "

    "The overall residential element of the development has been increased by 7.5 per cent compared to the scheme as submitted with the planning application. The proportion of “build-to-rent” units has also decreased in favour of “build-to-sell” units.

    Additionally, the number of “independent living” units for the elderly within the build-to-rent allocation has increased from 43 units proposed at application stage to 62 units now proposed.

    When the development is completed it will consist of 11 new streets and four new public spaces in an area within five minutes’ walk of Eyre Square.

    It is being described by its developer Gerry Barrett as a “one-of-a-kind place” as an “integrated district and central part of Galway with attractive cultural offers and leisure facilities, as well as innovative retail and entertainment concepts”. "


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  • Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭ ax530


    childcare facility for 81 children does not sound useful if no schools around, as it is I do not think the city centre schools are in huge demand.
    Also I think lots gets lost in the argument 'build high'.
    Discussion over number of stories ect but the purpose of the building should be the main priority. If the building is used well it will 'fit in' big buildings for the 'look on the skyline' may not add much value.
    Is it going to be a mixed community of people living together (single, students, elderly, families) with living, social and community areas or is it a student\tourist block occupied short term.
    I don't think Galway is big enough to have a market for this new place to live.
    Draw a line on cinema anyhow like way too many already around Galway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,895 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    If you want to build a community you need it to be settled and not just another profit machine for a buy to let vulture funds.

    Where does it say they want to build a community?

    ax530 wrote: »
    childcare facility for 81 children does not sound useful if no schools around,

    There are plenty of workers though: childcare close to work is a good thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ NellyBellyJelly


    ax530 wrote: »
    Is it going to be a mixed community of people living together (single, students, elderly, families) with living, social and community areas or is it a student\tourist block occupied short term.
    I don't think Galway is big enough to have a market for this new place to live.
    Draw a line on cinema anyhow like way too many already around Galway.

    Another cinema I really don't think is needed unless one of the current ones folds because of the pandemic.

    As regards a market for what they're building I think it all comes down to price and quality. If they're well built and reasonably priced then they'll sell and rent well to people who want to rent apartments in Ireland (so generally not families so far) but personally I'm expecting the price of these to be well above what most people in Galway would want to spend on rent/an apartment. As far as I'm aware an bord pleanala doesn't get a developer to actually demonstrate that there is a market for their building before they start construction.

    Despite the housing crisis there are large swathes of apartments in Dublin that are lying empty because of the premium rates of rent https://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/hundreds-plush-properties-laying-vacant-17800453 I would hope that wouldn't happen here.

    I find it interesting that they reduced the amount of towers rather than the height of the biggest tower.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,186 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    11 new streets!!

    That is big!!

    I must look at the masterplan.

    https://summix.com/projects/augustine-hill/

    https://summix.com/projects/queen-street/


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,186 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Geuze wrote: »
    11 new streets!!

    That is big!!

    I must look at the masterplan.

    https://summix.com/projects/augustine-hill/

    https://summix.com/projects/queen-street/



    Does anybody know where I can find the masterplan?

    Or the planning application reference code?

    Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 274 ✭✭ Jammyd


    https://geo.galwaycity.ie/ePlan5/AppFileRefDetails/2047/0

    all docs scanned up here in the view scanned files section

    Planning decision is due to be decided next week - 24.05.21


  • Registered Users Posts: 274 ✭✭ Jammyd


    Conditional Planning Granted - current status says split decision Schedule 1 Refused, Schedule 2 Granted with 53 Conditions. No docs scanned as yet to ascertain what has or hasn't been approved


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  • Registered Users Posts: 274 ✭✭ Jammyd


    DaCor wrote: »


    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/edward-capital-secures-approval-for-landmark-galway-city-development-1.4575012?mode=amp

    Looks like they’ve trimmed down the apts but the overall scheme hasn’t been reduced. Delighted to see this approved. Ultimately this is only the beginning of the battle with most likely multiple challenges from usual suspects


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