South Park is a specially protected neighborhood park under the City Development Plan with specific designation for passive and active recreation.
In addition the City Councillors unanimously accepted a motion tabled by myself approximately two years ago giving South Park extra protection as a ‘Special Amenity Area’. Notwithstanding the Park’s status however the Pearse Stadium/GAA have submitted a planning application which includes seeking 200 car parking spaces in South Park!
press release below
Press Release –Cllr Catherine Connolly 31st July 2014
No to 200 Car Parking Spaces in South Park
Cllr Connolly said she has become aware that the GAA/Pearse Stadium in its submission to the City Council for the erection of five columns with associated floodlights has set out that they have secured 200 parking spaces in South Park.
Cllr Connolly said on checking the planning application and in particular the further information furnished by the GAA Pearse Stadium to the City Council she was shocked to discover that the engineer on behalf of Pearse Stadium had submitted a marked out drawing showing 200 car parking spaces in South Park.
This figure was in addition to approximately 4,400 car parking spaces throughout the City 345 spaces at the Michael O’Higgins site which the Pearse Stadium say they have secured.
Cllr Connolly said this is an extraordinary statement by the GAA given that the only document on the planning file was an email from the Parks Superintendent setting out a proposal that each application for parking would be assessed on a case by case basis and confirming that the City Council were anticipating carrying out major amenity and recreational works at South Park subject to funding.
Moreover when Cllr Connolly contacted the City Council and also raised the matter at the last City Council Meeting not a single member of staff including Management was aware of any such parking arrangement.
In the circumstances for the Pearse Stadium to claim that they have secured such parking in South Park is nothing short of misleading.
Furthermore Cllr Connolly said has submitted a very strong written objection to planning permission being granted to the Pearse Stadium based on such tenuous parking arrangements.
More particularly she said South Park is protected park Neighbourhood Park under the City Development Plan designated specifically for passive and active recreation.
In addition and by way of giving South Park extra protection, the City Councillors unanimously supported Cllr Connolly’s motion approximately 2 years age calling for South Park to be designated as a ‘Special Amenity Area’ by reason of its outstanding beauty and its recreational value.
Given this background and context, for the Pearse stadium to consider reducing the amenity and enjoyment of such a park both for the local residents and the wider Galway Community by using part of it as a car park for their own benefit and to help them out of a problem with planning is simply incredible.
Moreover the residents of the Claddagh have waited patiently since soil contamination was discovered at the end of 2006 for a remedial plan and for the publication of a master plan for the recreational use of the park with many false starts and deadlines given by the City Council for the commencement and completion of such works.
South Park is also subject to ongoing and constant flooding and on every level including health and safety issues given the proposed site of the 200 car parking spaces, is totally unsuitable as a parking lot.
In all of the the circumstances pertaining , Cllr Connolly said she has called for planning permission to be refused and she has also brought the matter to the attention of the Claddagh Residents Association who were never consulted in relation to any plans for parking in South Park.