Redevelopment plans for town are welcome but need some revision
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