An application for the first stage of the development planned for 7.2 acres of land at Droim na Gaoithe, close to Claregalway Corporate Park, has been approved by the Department of Housing. Galway County Council paid €3m for land for social housing in Claregalway and it is expected that development plans will go ahead next year.Galway County Council paid out almost €3 million – more than €400,000 per acre – for development land in Claregalway which it has earmarked for social housing.Galway County Council has outlined the timeline for a controversial plan for a large scale social and affordable housing development on the Oranmore Road in Claregalway as the first stage of the project secures departmental approvalA management report presented to Galway County Councillors this week outlined a timescale for further steps in the process with a projected building start-up date of summer, 2022.Stage one of the Claregalway housing plan is focused on 45 social houses and it cleared the first hurdle in recent days when the Department of Housing gave approval to Galway County Council to proceed with planning.Preparations for the housing project, which has proved controversial in the area, will now proceed further.In a report to this week’s meeting of the Council, CEO Jim Cullen stated that a planning application will be made before the end of 2021. This may be handled under part 8 or part 10 of the Planning legislation. If permission is given, building could begin in a year’s time.The cost of this first phase is put at €10.8mThe cost of the following phase on the project site, close to the Oranmore road, is estimated at €11.25m. and that would involve the provision of another 45 houses in what is known as the Affordable Housing category. These second phase houses would be purchased at a fixed price.