€1M RE­VAMP

New plan for Pa­rade Ground area of Ark­low is un­veiled

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - FRONT PAGE - By ESTHER HAY­DEN

A pro­posed €1mil­lion plan will trans­form the Pa­rade Ground in Ark­low. The plan which was un­veiled last week in­cludes a to­tal re­vamp of the area be­tween the Bank of Ire­land side to past St Mary’s Road.

Ur­ban de­signer Paul Con­lon of Vi­sion Land­scape So­lu­tions has iden­ti­fied a num­ber of ar­eas which could be im­proved upon both in terms of safety and aes­thet­ics such as the nar­row foot­paths, hemmed in court­house and lack of pub­lic amenity space.

He also sug­gested that the old Or­monde Cas­tle could be made into more of a fea­ture, com­plete with ad­di­tional light­ing and sig­nage. The plan which will now go out to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion to get the views of the com­mu­nity was sup­ported by mem­bers of Ark­low Mu­nic­i­pal District who felt the de­sign would be a very pos­i­tive step for the town.

If given the green light, the plan would take up to three years to com­plete.

A new plan which could see an in­vest­ment of up to €1mil­lion in the Pa­rade Ground area of Ark­low was un­veiled to Ark­low Mu­nic­i­pal District mem­bers and of­fi­cials last Wed­nes­day.

A pro­posed de­sign for the area was pre­sented to the coun­cil by ur­ban de­signer Paul Con­lon of Vi­sion Land­scape So­lu­tions, which in­cluded a com­plete over­haul of the area be­tween the Bank of Ire­land on side to past St Mary’s Road.

Mr Con­lon out­lined that he eval­u­ated the site and iden­ti­fied a num­ber of ar­eas which could be im­proved upon both in terms of safety and aes­thet­ics such as the nar­row foot­paths, hemmed in court­house and lack of pub­lic amenity space.

He said that as a car-dom­i­nated town, the lack of a such an amenity and pedes­trian-led area could po­ten­tially de­ter tourists and vis­i­tors from com­ing into Ark­low.

He also sug­gested that the old Or­monde Cas­tle could be made into more of a fea­ture, com­plete with ad­di­tional light­ing and sig­nage.

The de­signer also gave a nod to the area’s rich min­ing and mar­itime his­tory and sug­gested cop­per-coloured gran­ite for the road and pave­ment sur­faces which would dif­fer­en­ti­ate Ark­low from other towns in the county.

The re­sponse from the coun- cil­lors was very pos­i­tive and they shared the view that this would be a very pos­i­tive step for Ark­low.

They sug­gested that it would pro­vide an ideal pub­lic space for fu­ture com­mu­nity and out­door events and wel­comed the pro­vi­sion in the de­sign for a fea­ture foun­tain which would be built into a mo­saic tile cen­tre­piece in the area link­ing the court­house to the street.

While such an am­bi­tious project could cost any­where be­tween €750,000 to €1mil­lion, the mem­bers were pos­i­tive that it could hap­pen, pos­si­bly in three phases, start­ing with the court­house sec­tion.

If fund­ing were avail­able in a lump sum, it was es­ti­mated that such a project could take be­tween eight and 10 months, but in phases, a time­line of three years is ex­pected.

Mem­bers agreed that the plan should go out to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion to get the views of the com­mu­nity on the de­sign.

The pro­posed de­sign for the re­vamped Pa­rade Ground area.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the pro­posed €1 mil­lion devel­op­ment of the pa­rade ground area.

Pa­rade Ground, Ark­low.

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