Dream plan for Wick­low town cen­tre

June 1998

Bray People - - NEWS -

WICK­LOW’S town cen­tre should be des­ig­nated a con­ser­va­tion cen­tre, and to ease traf­fic conges­tion lo­cally, a bridge link­ing the port and the N11 should be pro­vided, a UCD team has rec­om­mended.

The team from the uni­ver­sity’s Ur­ban De­sign Unit has come up with draft pro­pos­als for a set of de­sign and de­vel­op­ment guide­lines for the town.

Traf­fic, hous­ing and con­ser­va­tion are iden­ti­fied as keys to the proper for­ward de­vel­op­ment of the town.

‘Con­ser­va­tion of the ex­ist­ing built fab­rid must be en­forced to avoid what has been re­ferred to as “the loss of Wick­low’s soul”’, the plan states.

It pro­poses that a con­ser­va­tion bound­ary be cre­ated around the town core, the Abbey grounds, the ru­ins of the late me­dieval monas­try, the Church of Ire­land Par­ish Church and the ad­ja­cent motte, as well as the Catholic Church, and the rocky promon­tory sup­port­ing the re­mains of the Nor­man Black Cas­tle.

The pro­posed con­ser­va­tion area would also spread out across the River Leitrim to in­cor­po­rate the two bridges and the ter­raced hous­ing a Leitrim Place, Strand Street and Bath Street.

De­sign guide­lines would en­sure that all fu­ture de­vel­op­ment in that area was in har­mony with the ex­ist­ing town­scape.

The re­port points out that a high pro­por­tion of traf­fic uses the town cen­tre streets and that re­lief for this prob­lem will be found only through a port link to the N11 via a new bridge, pedes­trian pri­or­ity on the main street, re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of traf­fic pat­terns, and the en­force­ment of park­ing reg­u­la­tions.

Iden­ti­fy­ing four sep­a­rate dis­tricts in the town – the com­mer­i­cal core, the Mur­rough/Leitrim river and en­vi­rons, the Abbey and Church lands, and the Cas­tle Street/Black Cas­tle area – the re­port ad­vises on the form fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of th­ese ar­eas should take.

With re­gard to hous­ing in Wick­low, it says that no res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments should be al­lowed over the 70 me­tre con­tour line, that new de­vel­op­ments should be in­te­grated into the ex­ist­ing land­scape by ex­ploit­ing site op­por­tu­ni­ties, and that there should be greater di­ver­sity of char­ac­ter in hous­ing lay­out de­sign.

The re­port was com­mis­sioned by Wick­low’s Cham­ber of Com­merce, county coun­cil, UDC and the Busi­ness and Re­tail As­so­ci­a­tion.

‘De­vel­op­ment in Wick­low was seen as “knee­jerk”’, ex­plained Anne Lait of Wick­low Cham­ber of Com­merce, who Pres­i­dent when the re­port was com­mi­sioned.

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