RAVENSWELL PUPILS WALK TO THEIR LONG-AWAITED NEW SCHOOL

Bray People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY FOGARTY

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!’

PHO­TOS BY BAR­BARA FLYNN.

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

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