RAVENSWELL PUPILS WALK TO THEIR LONG-AWAITED NEW SCHOOL
Florence Road traders, who are campaigning for pedestrian access to and from the Florentine Centre, have expressed disbelief at ‘ the manner in which we are being treated by our local council’ in regard to the development.
A number of traders and employees were present in the public gallery at last Tuesday’s meeting of Bray Municipal District, when the matter of pedestrian access was discussed and District Manager Tom Murphy said that the possibility of an alternative location would be discussed with the developers. Due to protocol, the traders were not given the opportunity to speak at the meeting. ‘We all agreed that the shopping centre that was planned would be a great asset for the people and businesses of Bray,’ the traders said in a statement after the meeting. ‘Our parking was being taken away and we, as a street, would bear the brunt of the construction traffic and congestion. We were well aware that we would all see a decline in business during the construction phase. Despite all these problems, we still wanted the centre to be built.’
The plans submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval would have included pedestrian entrances on the Main Street, the Quinsboro Road, and Florence Road.
‘In the council meeting held in March, the district manager stated that the developer must “guarantee to build out as per the planning consent”’, said the traders.
‘We do not have a problem with the developer as he has a duty of care to his investors and shareholders to maximize the profit potential of this site for his company. The council, we feel, should have a duty of care to Bray town, its customers, and the businesses,’ read their statement.
‘At last Tuesday’s council meeting, we heard that six months ago on the day that the deal was signed the council knew that there was no possibility of pedestrian access from the Florence road to the Florentine centre.’
The owner of the original planned access site had not given permission. Members were told this in June.
‘We, as a group, only found out three weeks ago by chance when one of the construction workers said to a retailer “pity your road is having no pedestrian entrance”.
‘We have over 100 people employed on the Florence Road and we will do everything in our power to ensure that pedestrian access is reinstated or an alternative is made for access, even if that involves seeking a judicial review.’
SPARKS flew between the two longest-serving councillors at last week’s meeting of Bray Municipal District, after Cllr Dermot O’Brien’s request for a suspension of standing orders was refused.
The most recent addition to the Municipal District Council, Cllr O’Brien, asked Cathaoirleach Cllr Pat Vance to hear from a representative of the Florence Road traders, many of whom were present in the public gallery, and concerned about the possibility of no pedestrian access from the forthcoming Florentine Centre.
Cllr O’Brien said that it would benefit the members to hear the point of view of the traders affected.
Cllr Vance said that there is a procedure to follow. He said that the members would hear a letter from the traders in correspondence, that the matter would be discussed there at the meeting anyway, and that the traders are invited to speak at next month’s meeting. Cllr Thornhill seconded Cllr O’Brien’s proposal, but Cllr Vance said that he wasn’t taking it as it wasn’t allowed.
‘You have to take it,’ said Cllr Joe Behan.
‘You know the rules as well as I do,’ said Cllr Vance. ‘I don’t have to take it, and I’m not taking it. Cllr Behan said that this was ‘outrageous’, and continued to shout as Cllr Vance attempted to move forward with the meeting. Much of the exchange could not be heard as both men raised their voices simultaneously.
‘You don’t have the authority to deny a councillor’s proposal,’ said Cllr Behan. Cllr O’Brien remarked that the Enniskerry group had been permitted time the previous month.
‘If you don’t behave yourself I’m going to adjourn this meeting,’ Cllr Vance told Cllr Behan. ‘You’re grandstanding.’
‘ This is wrong,’ said Cllr Behan, as District Manager Tom Murphy was speaking on the next item. ‘You can keep talking Mr Murphy. People were ready to make deputations.’
Later, as Cllr Behan attempted to speak during a discussion on the matter itself, Cllr Vance said ‘do you want to come up here and run this meeting? All you’re doing is moaning all night!’
Students and teachers mark the year they moved into the brand new Ravenswell Primary School building before walking to the new school on Monday.
Sixth class pupils with Ms Condren.
Chief movers Callum O’Connor, Shane Moorehouse and Cian Evans Murray.
Cllr Joe Behan
Cathaoirleach Pat Vance