Residents oppose LYIT extension over parking problems
Residents living close to Letterkenny Institute of Technology have lodged objections to plans for a n3.5 million extension that they say will exacerbate existing car parking problems in the area.
The extension will add a third storey to the campus's main building which will house new science laboratories.
LYIT says the extension to important for it's development and follows the increase in uptake for science courses in recent years.
But residents in the Ashlawn, Swilly Park and Ballyraine areas have objected to the plans because they do not contain provision for extra car parking and say the extension will add to the ongoing parking congestion.
Residents say inadequate car parking facilities for staff and students at LYIT has posed a safety hazard for residents and has eroded resident's enjoyment of their homes and has devalued their properties.
Double and single yellow lines have been put down on Ballyraine Road and 'residents only' parking signs have been erected by the town council. But residents say the signs are being ignored and drivers are parking in residential areas instead of availing the offer of to use the car park of the Church of the Irish Martyrs.
The plans would see the laboratories moved form their current location to the new floor above to create additional classroom space.
President Paul Hannigan said LYIT wants to be in a position to provide the best facilities possible to the students coming in.
"Nobody is more aware of the (parking) situation than us and we are trying to come up with solutions to deal with it. We have increased demands (for places) from a large number of sources. We have an obligation in the context of the services we provide. Parking is an issue that's there but we are an educational institution and we have to be very conscious of what we are providing in the county at the moment. Giving all the difficulties that the county is having we see ourselves as one of the bright spots in terms of creating opportunities for people to get themselves ready for work when things pick up. We recognise the limitations of our own site and we are trying to deal with that though other developments that are ongoing."
Chairman of the Ashlawn Residents' Association Jim Donnellan, said parking by LYIT students and staff is choking up the area and affecting the quality of life of residents, some of whom are elderly. Verbal exchange have taken place between students and residents who have difficulty accessing their homes.
"We have no quibble about expansion of the college and the facilities which is all for progress and for the education of the students of Donegal and other counties. But we feel the college should be doing more to facilitate the students' parking and it should not be shunted onto residential areas. A further problem is that many of the houses in Ashlawn are rented to students and some have up to four cars parked outside, he said.
“The situation is getting out of hand but we don’t want a bad feeling to develop but we feel the college should be doing more.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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