Re­de­vel­op­ment plans for town are wel­come but need some re­vi­sion

The Argus - - OPINION - John mul­li­gan john.mul­li­gan@ar­gus.ie

THE re­de­vel­op­ment plans for the St Ni­cholas Quar­ter Group are to be widely wel­comed.

Any­one who reg­u­larly uses Clan­bras­sil Street and Church Street will tell you a tale of woe about the con­di­tion of the foot­path. Cob­ble paving has not with­stood the rav­ages of time and the harsh­ness of the Irish weather well.

Any­one who has had the mis­for­tune of a leak in their home will tell you that wa­ter gets ev­ery­where, even into the small­est cracks and cer­tainly the tor­rents of reg­u­lar rain­fall that we have ev­ery win­ter have wreaked havoc with the cob­ble paving.

On the other hand the paving at the Mar­ket Square which is now five years old, against the paving in Clan­bras­sil Street which is ten years older, has weath­ered well and looks as at­trac­tive and se­cure as it did the first day it was laid.

The plan for the re­de­vel­op­ment of Clan­bras­sil Street and Church Street is to use sim­i­lar qual­ity ma­te­ri­als as found in the Mar­ket Square.

All that bodes well, but the concern at this point is the dis­rup­tion the re­de­vel­op­ment works will cause to trade along the street.

There was plenty of dis­con­tent amongst traders when the street was re­fur­bished fif­teen years ago and fur­ther con­cerns when the street was up­rooted for the in­stal­la­tion of ser­vices by Irish Wa­ter more re­cently.

Of course in the longer term, the vi­sion is that ev­ery­one will ben­e­fit from the re­de­vel­op­ment but it is vi­tal that ev­ery ef­fort is made not to lose any­one along the way.

While the pe­riod of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the plans continue there is concern about the re­moval of six­teen park­ing spa­ces in Church Street, re­duc­ing park­ing from 26 bays to just nine.

Sev­eral busi­nesses in the Church Street area where the park­ing bays are to be re­duced at­tract quick park up and drop in cus­tomers, stores, such as Kier­ans, Home Bak­ery, Con­lon’s and McCormick’s.

Long es­tab­lished busi­ness, many of their cus­tomers park on the street for five or ten min­utes to do a few quick mes­sages in th­ese shops, the fish van on the cor­ner of Pa­trick Street and Mar­ket Fresh veg­etable shop.

Th­ese busi­nesses thrive on the pass­ing trade, and easy ac­ces­si­ble park­ing.

It is im­por­tant not to kill this trade in the name of progress, so some sen­si­ble so­lu­tion must be found to suit all.

TH­ESE BUSI­NESSES THRIVE ON THE PASS­ING TRADE, AND EASY AC­CES­SI­BLE PARK­ING

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