Sunday 24 March 2019

€4 million proposed plans for former St Joseph's site

The former St Joseph’s School on Wexford Street
The former St Joseph’s School on Wexford Street
The proposed €4 million development

Sara Gahan

A €4 million proposed development for the former St Joseph's School site on Wexford Street was presented to the councillors at last week's Gorey Municipal District meeting.

The proposed housing and apartment scheme will include the demolition of St Joseph's old school, a total of 20 units - six apartments in three three storey buildings and two apartments in one two storey building, 40 public car park spaces and a communal refuse and recycling area. The lane from Wexford Street to The Avenue will be kept free and open. There will be fencing placed around the development so the public can't easily access the area.

Stage 1 of the proposed development will be submitted before Christmas and it is believed that the construction will hopefully be completed 2021 to 2022.

Cllr Robbie Ireton said he will be rejecting the proposed idea.

'It's costing €200,000 per unit and also will be built on a gravel pit,' said Cllr Ireton. 'A school was built there and had to move because it was a hazard according to health and safety. In 20 to 30 years it will be crumbling away.'

Cllr Ireton suggested this jewel piece of ground be used as a car park as it is a lifeline to the Main Street.

On the other hand, the rest of the councillors were behind the idea and said they will be supporting the development. Cllr Malcolm Byrne is confident the challenges will be met.

'Cllr Ireton is right about the ground, but I am confident it will be finished to a high standard,' said Cllr Byrne. 'It is an ideal opportunity to meet the housing needs of Gorey.'

Cllr Pip Breen said it is a 'excellent development and a great use of space'. He added it will be a great addition to the town and will fully support the idea.

Cllr Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin said the development has the best of both worlds - additional housing for Gorey and extra public car park spaces.

'It is a great plan,' said Cllr Mary Farrell. 'I agree that we need parking, but we need to address the housing need first.'

Cllr Anthony Donohoe said he is not rejecting it, but proposed moving the public car park closer to the Main Street behind Liam Brennans Hardware.

'I welcome the project as there is something for everyone,' added Cllr Joe Sullivan.

Chairman Cllr John Hegarty said it has been a topical issue in Gorey for the last 10 years. He welcomed the design and said it is an ideal opportunity for the elderly or those with mobility issues.

The proposed housing scheme follows an agreement reached in July between St Michael's Parish Finance Committee and Wexford County Council.

Gorey Guardian