independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Anger at portrayal of town economy as 'hanging by a thread'

A VIEW of Newmarket as economically 'hanging by a thread' has drawn an angry reaction from the chairman of the town's community development association.

The reference stemmed from an observation submitted to An Bord Pleanala regarding the proposed primary care centre at West End, Newmarket.

In a submission made by planning consultant Brendan McGrath, on behalf of his client Gerard Lynn of Park, Newmarket, it was stated that the 'viability of Newmarket town hangs by a thread' and went on to detail the recent closure of a number of businesses, including a shop and the local AIB branch.

Ollie Dugdale, chairman of the Newmarket Community Development Association, told The Corkman that he works both personally and professionally in Newmarket, and he took grave exception to the view that 'the viability of Newmarket hangs by a thread'.

"I felt very offended by [this] view of Newmarket. It totally went against all the hard work that people in the town have been working towards," said Mr Dugdale.

"Newmarket was seen in a very bad light, and that is just not the case.

"People are very angry at what was written ... about the town of Newmarket. While I do accept it was the view of Mr McGrath as he wrote the reports, it's just not a view that I agree with at all," he said.

"People are very angry at his viewpoint as it just doesn't reflect what the town of Newmarket has to offer," he said.

"The bank closed almost two months ago and our local post office has provided a great range of AIB services since then. Centra was a huge loss to us all on a deeply personal level, but we're living in a recession, this is occurring across the country and the world in general," added Mr Dugdale

Meanwhile, he said that everyone that he has met had been "wholeheartedly in favour" of the primary care centre at West End.

"The nonsense about the project being outside the historic core of the town is absolute nonsense. It's across the road from our local town park, which is very much the hub of the community," he said.

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