ON Saturday morning, September 27, a planning notice appeared on a vacant lot on Gallwey’s Hill in Tramore. The notice, made in the name of James Gilmartin was announcing intention to build a ground floor restaurant, with three floors of apartments containing twelve units. By that evening, the planning notice had been stripped from the post, and Waterford Council have confirmed that no application has been made to their planning department for these works, as yet.
Over the past month or so, the original gate leading into the cliffside plot had been removed, to make way for construction traffic and sand bags. The gate was replaced with an industrial type gate, which was subsequently bolted against onlookers. A planning enforcement notice has been sent out regarding this property in relation to the erection of a new gate, fencing on the property and subsequent works. On Tuesday, September 29, these works were still ongoing, irrespective of the Council’s enforcement notice.
A petition has been created by People Before Profit’s Una Dunphy to develop a community garden on the site, which prioritises inclusion and employment. The petition reads:
“The former owner of this site should be commemorated as someone who triumphed over adversity, by dedicating this iconic viewing spot to those who struggle due to exclusion. An accessible community garden with coffee shop would offer all in the town and beyond, a space and workplace for inclusion along with environmental appreciation.”
Ballroom businessman, via Kerry and Las Vegas, Bill Fuller was once the owner of the plot of land, at a time when he owned the Atlantic Ballroom in Tramore. It is not known whether the property is still in the possession of the Fuller family, or whether it has since been sold on.
Apart from a very small dwelling structure, there has never been anything on the site to block the vistas offered over Tramore Bay from this site, and the heavy rate of erosion, together with the unsupported cliff face make this site an unlikely and even dangerous option for a restaurant and apartments. The site is reportedly being assessed as a through way, into the neighbouring Cliff House at the top of Gallwey’s Hill, however, additional traffic would still be cause for concern for this site.
Members of the public are welcome to lodge submissions regarding this site to Waterford Council, however, in the absence of any official planning intent lodged with the Council, it is a waiting game.