28/01/2011

Cruise Liners Bound For Galway?

A consultation with the public on a €200 million plan for developing Galway Harbour began this week.

It is looking into the redevelopment and the plans to move the port southward on land reclaimed from Galway Bay.

The aim is to attract cruise liners into a transformed deepwater port, developing a new rail link and providing more than 200 marina berths.

The Irish Times has reported a planning application will be lodged with An Bord Pleanála under the strategic infrastructure legislation in April, the harbour company said, noting this is a scaled-down version of an original €350 million project, which was to have been developed over three phases.

The revised plan extends over four stages, and involves reclaiming almost 24 hectares of land from the sea, extending the port 917m south and providing 660m of quay berth.

It was anticipated no State funding would be available under current legislation for commercial ports, with the harbour company drawing on its own resources to help finance this first phase, he said.

If planning approval is granted, the company hopes to start development at the end of 2012, months after the return of the Volvo Ocean race to Galway.

(BMcC/GK)

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