By Keith Faherty
A revised application for planning has been lodged for a community centre in Newcastle, Galway City. Regular committee meetings took place to develop the final plans, which were sent to the City Council.
Committee Chairman Seamus Davey observed that the community centre would be beneficial to the residents of Newcastle and the surrounding area of Galway City, which involves individuals of all ages, and community groups. They will have access to meeting spaces, advice, information, guidance and social activities. The committee has been planning for this for some time, working with Galway City Council to put this service in place.
The committee signed a long-term lease with Galway City Council to acquire the site back in 2010. Planning permission was granted by Galway City Council in 2015 to construct facilities, such as a sports hall, meeting rooms, tennis courts and car parking.
Semeus Davey said, “Planning permission was discussed with CEO Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, to review plans, approved at this stage”. The updated plans have an estimated budget of €2.5 for the development of this centre. This includes the development of the centre, plus the external of facilities – Astro turf, children’s play area and landscaped gardens.
He announced that the activities for this community centre would be beneficial on all estates in the locality. These estates include Bushy Park Lawn, Dangan Heights, Fairlands Park, Hazel Park and many others.
The committee came up with the idea of carrying out a survey for the locality, to get their thoughts and preferences on activities for the centre. The committee received feedback from the survey carried out earlier in the year, which showed that everyone was on board with getting the community centre developed.
Mr. Davey said, “Feedback that we received has assisted us in enhancing the original plan, as new plans were sent to the Galway City Council three weeks ago, which will hopefully be approved by the end of the year. We hope to hear back from the City Council in six weeks if we have the go ahead”.
He suggested that for funding to happen, they would want the back support of other departments and associations, such as the Department of Housing, Urban Regeneration and Development Fund and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
For the process to be completed, they are exploring opportunities for collaboration with NUI Galway, Croí and other institutions in this area, in order to enable the centre to service the needs of residents and institutions in the locality.
The theme for the community centre development is health and wellness. The committee wishes to prioritise the physical and mental health and wellness in all age groups, from the cradle to the grave, in all activities to be carried out in the centre.