Re: Re: The Opera Centre

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The Opera Centre debacle takes yet another comical twist!:rolleyes:

Mayor lashes out at An Bord Pleanala over Opera Centre delay

By Anne Sheridan

THE Mayor of Limerick John Gilligan has accused An Bord Pleanala of being “totally out of touch with reality” after it emerged that a decision on the €350m Opera Centre will not be made for at least another four months. Just last week the board had set April 9 as the decision date for the biggest retail development in the Mid-West, and one of the longest running in local history.

But they have now expressed “serious concerns” with the plans, and requested further revised drawings for 15 “historic” buildings along Rutland Street, Michael Street, Ellen Street and Patrick Street.

Mayor of Limerick John Gilligan said it amounts to “economic nonsense” that An Bord Pleanala are taking so long to come to a decision on the development, while investors are waiting to pump millions of euro into the city.

“I find it very disconcerting. The whole legislation has to change. Limerick City Council has to make a decision on a development within eight weeks, and An Bord Pleanala can sit on it for six, eight or twelve months. I think they’re totally out of touch with reality and I’ve just lost faith in them,” said the Mayor.

Limerick City Council is expected to lose in the region of €1million in rates over the next three years while dozens of retail units are left vacant.

But the developers have said once the centre is fully operational – which could be three years away if planning is granted – the losses in rates will be recouped in one year.

A spokesperson for An Bord Pleanala confirmed to the Limerick Leader that it now appears that a decision may not be made until June or July.

A further revision of the plans must be submitted by May 4, and if they are not submitted by that date the Bord can dismiss the appeal or determine an outcome without further notice.

I think its a shocking indictment of the shoddy standards in the planning office at City Hall that the board are now looking for more detailed plans. The city planners of course were only too happy to allow this development go through unaltered, with barely any consideration given to the irreparable damage that would be inflicted upon historic building stock!:rolleyes:

I wouldn’t exactly have much sympathy for the loss of rates that the council are suffering, I’d be far more concerned about the battering the city centre’s image is taking as a result of the vast swathe of neglected, boarded up buildings!

Of course if the council had their priorities right, they wouldn’t have allowed this ridiculous situation to develop where tenants were ordered to vacate their premises years before any development took place!:mad:

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