€30m tourism and regeneration plan for Enniscorthy
Plans to regenerate the Templeshannon area of Enniscorthy to the tune of over €8m were presented to the members of the local authority last week.
The presentation was made by Wexford County Council's Head of Special Projects, Brian Galvin, who was assisted by his colleague, Executive Engineer, Michael Jones.
Mr Jones outlined proposals to develop a new pedestrian bridge over the river Slaney from the bottom of Slaney Street.
Mr Jones said the new bridge would rise above the proposed new flood defence scheme work and would lead to the car park at the swimming pool in the Templeshannon area.
'It has to be above the proposed flood defence scheme and an arched bridge is proposed,' he said.
The members were told the objective of the regeneration project will be to develop a plan that will outline and support urban renewal and development opportunities in the Templeshannon area.
Improved accessibility and traffic management scheme was also included in the presentation made to the members.
With regard to infrastructural works the plan makes provision for ways to improve the public realm and streetscape and manage the progressive transformation of the swimming pool and leisure centre car park to create a new public space and car park.
In addition to the proposed new pedestrian bridge the creation of three new urban development blocks will provide the main focus of attention within the overall project.
The councillors were informed that in May this year an application was made by Wexford County Council based around three specific projects: Templeshannon; the Tourism Project and a Community/Food hub.
It's proposed the three projects will be delivered in a coordinated way to support urban regeneration and economic development within the entire town.
The members were told that successful delivery of the projects will require state, public and private sector funding.
In the presentation, Mr Galvin and Mr Jones highlighted to the members that the preliminary design and planning of the Templeshannon regeneration master plan will be best achieved by developing an overall masterplan to coordinate all of the public works and the development of the new urban blocks by the private sector.
With regard to the cost of the project the breakdown was comprised of: Phase 1: Templeshannon Street Enhancement work (€1.26m); Adaption of the Leisure Centre car park (€1.97m); Urban block development enabling works (€.98m); Templeshannon Food and Community Hub (€1.41m).
Costing of Phase 2 of the Templeshannon project included: Pedestrian bridge construction (€3.5m); and development of Blocks A and B (private sector).
Phase 3 of the development would see Block C of the urban block being constructed through the private sector.
While welcoming the positivity of having the tourism and regeneration plans before the members Cllr Cathal Byrne said he was 'a little disappointed' that the submission was made in May but the presentation was only being given to the members now.
'I would have preferred if the presentation could have been made to the councillors before being submitted,' said Cllr Byrne.
'A large project like this should go before the members,' he added.
He then asked if a pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Slaney Street could be implemented 'immediately', and he also said he would have concerns about a two-way system operating in 'such a confined space' near the pool.
However, he also commented: 'I think it's very important to remember there are two sides to the town.'
Mr Galvin said it's important people get to see what is being proposed and said: 'I think it sits better with the National Development Plan.'
Cllr Jackser Owens also welcomed the proposal and said the people of Templeshannon feel they are forgotten about.
With regard to the situation at the bottom of Slaney Street Cllr Owens said: 'The situation for pedestrians at the bottom of Slaney Street hasn't been looked at in 20 years.'
'It should be put in now for the safety of pedestrians,' he said.
However, the broader aspect of the plan was welcomed.