Re: Re: €2bn plan to develop Galways docklands

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From the Irish Times today

Proposed new port for Galway to cater for liners
Michelle McDonagh

The proposed new multimillion euro port for Galway city will aim to attract the lucrative liner business currently centred in Dublin and Cork, as well as becoming a marine hub.

The relocation of the existing port at Galway docks, a kilometre out to sea, is part of a massive €2 billion plan to transform the area into an Irish version of Sydney Harbour in what would be the biggest tourism development in the country.

The vision is for a 32-acre Waterfront City, which could attract up to 50 cruise ships a year and generate €25 million for the local economy. The current docks area would be transformed into a pedestrianised hub featuring a cultural centre, retail space, conference centre, residential units, restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as a 200-berth marina. The Galway Harbour Company is currently completing an environmental impact statement on relocating the port and they plan to lodge a planning application for this phase of the project with the city council by the middle of October.

If this application is granted, the next step will be to apply for a foreshore licence, which will take some time as it involves reclaiming land that is State-owned, according to secretary of the harbour company Tom O’Neill.

He said the new port would have the facilities to cater for the largest liners afloat which can carry 3,000 passengers.

“The vessels that are best able to deal with this type of business are the big liners trading in the Mediterranean that visit Dublin and Cork and can carry up to 3,000 passengers. We will be trying to attract these liners to come around the coast to Galway after Cork when we have the facilities to cater for them,” he said.

If approved, work on the port will start in four or five years and be completed in seven to 10 years.

© The Irish Times

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