GHC has revised and refined its proposed planning submission to An Bord Pleanala, to take into account the current economic climate. The revised development is a scaled back version of the original proposal yet also allows for the further growth and expansion of the port when economic conditions improve. Instead of achieving the overall project in two phases, the Harbour Company proposes achieving it objectives in four phases. This decision is based on finding a balance between the current economic climate and the immediate requirements of the Port.
The new Phase 1 will allow the construction of a sheltered quay of 660metres and make provision for a turning circle for some of the worlds largest cruise liners and tankers. This phase will allow the Port to sustain and grow its current core business and is essential to the current operating needs of the Port. It is estimated that the cost of achieving Phase 1 will be circa €50m and will be funded by the Galway Harbour Company. Phases 2 & 3 will allow the provision of a rail link to accommodate rail freight and the construction of a quay for the inshore fishing fleet. Phase four makes provision for the development of a western marina that will be capable of berthing 216 leisure craft. Completion of all four phases is estimated for 2017 and will future proof the maritime requirements of the Port of Galway.
Speaking on the announcement Harbour CEO E. Bradshaw commented that the impetus to develop the Port of Galway remains a top priority for the Galway Harbour Company. He went on to say “that the immediate requirement is to develop the port to a level where it can facilitate larger vessels including cruise liners in order for the Company to continue to sustain and grow the core business of the Port. However he noted that the most prudent approach to the development is to revise the timeframe for the overall master plan and to complete the work in stages, thus making it financially feasible while meeting the immediate requirements of the Ports core business and customers”
The Galway Harbour Company are actively engaged with An Bord Pleanala in terms of finalising its final planning submission which should take place in early 2011. Mr Bradshaw did reiterate the Galway Harbour Company commitment to engaging in a robust public consultation session which is now likely to happen in Jan 2011, once An Bord Pleanala approve the planning process “the support and understanding of the Galway community in terms of getting this development across the line is something we take very seriously. To date most people have been very supportive of what we are trying to achieve and on our part we are always endeavouring to provide the most up to date and available information on our progress to the business community and general public alike. For instance all of the details surrounding our revised submission can be found on our website www.galwayharbour.com and the feedback mechanism is provided openly for any and all comment.