Communities Must Have a Voice in the New Development Plan

The City Development Plan will have a significant impact on the diverse communities of Galway City in the coming years. Last year, Galway City Community Network and local partners held thematic workshops and local area-based meetings in communities across the city. Over 400 residents attended workshops to talk about their hopes and vision for Galway City and what they would like to see in the new Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029.

In reviewing the draft plan, GCCN members do not believe the input of communities across the city has been heard and incorporated into the draft plan. We fear the focus of the draft plan is on developing the city for tourism and business interests rather than for residents and local communities.

We do not believe developer-led planning, required under the draft plan, can resolve the homelessness crisis.

We do not believe that a plan that isn’t framed by equality and social justice will deliver an inclusive city for all Galway’s residents.

We do not believe the plan will deliver a just transition and address the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. There are no measurable targets set out in the plan as to how we can reduce our emissions by 51% by 2030, consistent with the Climate Action Plan 2021. The next 7 years are a critical time in the transformation of Galway to a low carbon sustainable city.

Communities have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. It is essential that communities in Galway are enabled to participate meaningfully and that their local knowledge contributes to the best solutions for their communities.

We urge our Councillors to ensure that, when they make the City Development Plan, they include the measures and policies that communities have requested through thematic workshops, local area-based meetings and submissions.