Has anyone been around that part of Limerick city? I was driving in from the Western side of the city today, and given the recent controversy over Bertieâ€™s ideas for once off â€˜rural housingâ€™ I just noticed how well the planning authorities in Limerick city have seemed to contained the situation on that side of the cityâ€™s Western edge. Or perhaps it has a lot more to do with the land being too expensive to buy in 1-acre plots!
Any road, the city of Limerick is slowly creeping its way outwards, but doing so, in some kind of a controlled fashion on that Western edge. I have seen a heck of a lot worse anyhow. Readers from Galway might know a lot more in this particular regard. My honest reaction having visited the Grove Island new development, was one of approval. Its quite dense on a tight inner city site, but doesn't look any bit overwhelming experiencing it in reality. Furthermore a really forgotten dead back water of Limerick's inner territory has been re-discovered again. The new bridge over the Abbey River is beautiful too.
Normally developer driven residential schemes of the same size in Limerick city end up being very low density semi-detached housing estates, with the mandatory Spar and Laudrette attempt. Grove Island has those too, but much, much more indeed. It offers a contrast to what normally passes for a community in Limerick anyhow. You have got all kinds of standard low-density development within a stones throw of Grove Island, none of which dared to experiment beyond the normal formula.
This is something altogether new and positive I think for the city of Limerick. I don't want to sound too magnanimous, I mean we are still taking about pretty economical accomodation and business units. I was impressed by the couple of little business units up on the roof of the parking lots too - tres Paris! :-) But somehow the mixture of events and circulation creates an unusual amount of interest. The scheme hasn't quite finished construction yet, but already the people are moving around it - a good sign.
I think the Planning Authorities in Limerick city were instrumental in bringing on â€˜the conceptâ€™ of how we choose to use our valuable land resources in this instance. Altogether, having thought about it now for a bit â€“ thumbs up to Grove Island. Everyone, pay it a visit next time you are passing through Limerick city. (no sarcasm intended)
Just some of my observations.
Brian Oâ€™ Hanlon.