Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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ALL HOUSES IN ISLAND FIELDCOULD FACE DEMOLITION
EXCLUSIVE BY EUGENE PHELAN
PLANS are under way which could see the entire housing stock in St Maryâ€™s Park demolished and replaced by an ultra-modern financial centre, hotels and upmarket housing.
St Maryâ€™s Park, also known as the Island Field, is one of the best and most valuable sites in the city and this week residents were informed that work has started on the regeneration project.
Informed sources have told the Limerick Leader that one very possible scenario is that the City Council could draft a compulsory purchase order for the 480 or so houses, so that the site can be completely cleared. St Maryâ€™s Park was the cityâ€™s first local authority housing estate, but
â€œThe Corporation own most of the houses, which is a good thing. Everyone, of course, would be rehoused around the city. This would also allow 40 acres at the back of St Maryâ€™s Park, which is currently landlocked, to be opened up for developmentâ€ one official at City Hall confirmed. The precise course of action will be decided in the coming months, but the â€˜nuclearâ€™ option would appear to have considerable support.
â€œEven at this early stage,â€ confided one local politician, â€œit looks certain that they will go for a compulsory purchase order, the knocking of the houses and a complete change from one of the least desirable to one of the most desirable areas to live.â€
Reports advocating the demolition of the estate and another arguing for renovation have in the past been knocked by Government, but now money is available for a massive regeneration of the area. McNamara & Partners in Ennis have already been appointed to oversee the project and come up with a regeneration plan. The Limerick firm of Murray Oâ€™Laoire have also been called, along with other experts from England who have worked on similar projects there.
A letter has now gone out to residents and key stakeholders. They will also receive a questionnaire, designed to help the professionals with their report.
Local councillor John Gilligan, who lives in nearby Lee Estate, concedes that the demolition is a possibility, but believes that it would be â€œoutrageousâ€ to knock all the houses.
â€œI have said all along that unless there is consultation, nothing will happen,â€ Cllr Gilligan said. â€œThere is a strategy and nothing has been decided. It is entire speculation to suggest that the houses will be all knocked.â€
A mix of shopping, private and social housing, without knocking all of the existing houses, would be his preference. â€œOne of the main problems, as you know, is not the houses, but some of the people living in them,â€ he added. â€œYou canâ€™t just knock all the houses and transplant all the people.â€
Early in May the consultants are to meet with the four local councillors to gauge their views and share ideas.
There will also be a walkabout with City officials and local residents. One of the most important events will be workshops organised over two days with residents. Statutory agencies will also be involved.
21 April 2007
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