CEO of Galway Racecourse asks An Bord Pleanala to approve Ring Road project with mitigation works intact

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Chief Executive of Galway Racecourse has asked An Bord Pleanala to approve the Galway City Ring Road project with all proposed mitigation works intact.

Earlier today, a submission was made on behalf of Brooks Timber and Building Supplies at Ballybrit, suggesting that the business could be saved through the reconfiguration of the site.

At present, it’s proposed that Brooks be demolished to accommodate construction of a tunnel – with replacement stables for Galway Racecourse to be built on the site once construction is complete.

Appearing before the online oral hearing this afternoon, CEO of Galway Racecourse Michael Moloney spoke of the huge social, economic and cultural importance of the race course to the fabric of Galway – and the impact they face from the Galway City Ring Road project.

But he said they commended the proposal put forward for the project, including the mitigation strategy, which he said they accepted was a sound and appropriate basis on which to move forward.

He concluded by asking inspectors that it would be approved in its current form, with all proposed mitigation measures intact.

Earlier today, a submission was made on behalf of Brooks Timber and Building supplies at Ballybrit, which currently is earmarked to be demolished, as it stands in the way of a proposed tunnel.

Under the current plan, replacement stables at Galway Racecourse would be built on the land now occupied by Brooks, once the Galway City Ring Road project is completed.

It was suggested today that some land could be surrendered and Brooks could be partially demolished, but reconfigured in such a way that it could continue to operate at reduced capacity on a smaller site.

This, it was argued, would allow Brooks to continue trading and avoid being put out of business.

Arup consultants today stated that this alternative proposal is not viable – but roundly denied a suggestion that Galway Racecourse was being accommodated at the expense of Brooks.

Their argument is that it is necessary to purchase the land through CPO and demolish the Brooks building to accommodate tunnel works – and thereafter, it makes sense to build replacement stables for Galway Racecourse on the land in its significantly altered state.

An equine expert also found this is also the only feasible location for replacement stables without having to totally rebuild all facilities at the racecourse.

Meanwhile, a Castlegar resident argued today that the Ring Road project will absolutely decimate her community – one of the oldest, she said, in the city – and that the devastating impact on those affected by the project had not been sufficiently assessed.

Marie O Donovan asked why it is the case that businesses, bats and horses all seem to get far more consideration than people whose homes are set to be demolished.

Today’s the 11th and final day of the oral hearing – with the final submissions set to be wrapped up around now, and the CPO hearing to be officially drawn to a close.