From today's times
Waterford plans new town for 12,000 people
A new town with housing for more than 12,000 people is being planned for a north-western suburb of Waterford city.
Under the plan, announced by Waterford City Council, some 4,000 homes will be built in the adjacent neighbourhoods of Carrickphierish and Gracedieu over the next 10 years. A hotel, a supermarket and several restaurants have also been earmarked for Carrickphierish, around which the new conurbation is expected to grow.
The plan is dependent, however, on the council attracting private developers to carry out the projects envisaged in it. Most of the land is in private ownership.
Waterford's mayor, Mr Seamus Ryan, described the plan, which was presented at a meeting of the city council on Monday night, as "a major development for the city.
"I would most certainly welcome this. It's going to open up a new part of Waterford for development as a community and neighbourhood area."
The idea of developing a new town at Carrickphierish was first approved by the council in its 2002 city development plan.
For the first time, however, a detailed design of the proposed neighbourhood has been published, showing the development concentrated around three core blocks of sufficient density "to make a vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood centre".
While the proposed blocks rise to five storeys or 17 metres, the predominant building height is restricted to four storeys facing the high street, and three stories facing the back street.
Outside of these core blocks, sites have been identified for a new school and several three-storey residential blocks.
Under the plan, the neighbourhood centre will grow up around a green central space divided by the new Carrickphierish Road.
The road is currently under construction, linking the Old Kilmeadan Road and the Knockhouse Roads.
On the design of the centre, a council report on the plan says: "A contemporary feel is desired for all buildings, while pastiche proposals should be avoided. Social housing should be indistinguishable from private housing."
It adds that pedestrians will be given priority in the town centre, which should be no more than a 10-minute walk from new housing units.
Explaining the rationale for the plan, it states: "The past 20 years of development in Waterford city have been characterised by low-density residential development, with separation of residential and employment uses, over-reliance on private transport, wasteful consumption of agricultural land and urban sprawl.
"An essential element of the sustainable development strategy is the development of a compact city, which includes the consolidation of existing and establishment of new neighbourhoods," it says.
It is envisaged that Carrickphierish will be developed first, while the the future of Gracedieu depends on the achievement of "critical mass" of sustainable development in the area.
The plan, which will go on public display next month, deals with an area of about 860 hectares, about 750 hectares of which is undeveloped.
The Spraoi arts facility has already moved into Carrickphierish, along with a small Gaelscoil which hopes to expand in line with the new development.