Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Growing concern among councillors over plans for Limerick city centre
Several city councillors have raised concerns about radical development plans set out in the draft City Centre Strategy at a meeting of the Economic Policy Development and Future Planning Strategic Planning Committee this week.
Cllr Kathleen Leddin expressed concerns that large scale developments could take over Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) while Councillor Diarmuid Scully said that the plan should be more environmentally sustainable.
Cllr Leddin said that she does not agree with certain parts of the extensive, long term strategy, which will cover six different zones of the city and proposes the pedestrianisation of Oâ€™Connell Street among other ambitious plans.
She made reference to the â€œsite adjacent to Shannon Bridge, Condell Roadâ€ in the 58 page document which states that the site is zoned as â€œgeneral purposeâ€ i.e. open to development but is also â€œdesignated as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (pcSAC)â€.
The document goes on to say that this â€œpcSAC zoning is currently being appealedâ€ by the council and the site â€œoffers the potential for a landmark building with primarily a residential use that complements the adjacent wetlands areaâ€. Cllr Leddin claimed that she was not aware of this appeal and emphasised that SACs must be preserved and if any development went ahead it was a â€œdisgraceâ€. â€œWhy is this happening? If this opens the gates to developers, they will come in and develop on that side of the river which is valuable wetland and an SAC. I donâ€™t know how it was zoned as general purpose.â€
She also asked Director of Planning John Field for more details on what works would be carried out on the cityâ€™s historic Potato Market and said she hoped that the LPYMA Grounds in her ward were not going to be earmarked for development aside from upgrading current facilities. She also questioned if the open space of Arthurâ€™s Quay would be used for buildings. â€œI canâ€™t see why weâ€™re doing these things to facilitate developers,â€ she said, â€œWe have to guard our open spaces because once theyâ€™re gone, theyâ€™re gone.”
Mr Field said that a brief was being prepared to â€œexamine ways to improve the use of the LYMPA Groundsâ€ and that development of the general Arthurâ€™s Quay area, including submissions by landownerâ€™s next to the park, was being considered.
He said that the land near Shannon Bridge was only a small portion and did not â€œrun all the way along the riverâ€.
He added that the appeal has already been lodged and that zoning was a matter for city council to considerâ€”a matter which Cllr Leddin vowed to bring up at a future council meeting.
Meanwhile, Cllr Diarmuid Scully said that city centre buildings should be made more energy sustainable similar to a successful project in Dundalk.
â€œPlans for that give us the ability to confer on us a competitive advantage over other cities that donâ€™t have such a policy.
â€œAlso, there is around â‚¬50 billion in EU funding available. In Dundalk, they introduced renewable street lighting and improved the energy efficiency of their secondary school and hospital. It would be good if we could do these kinds of positive, small scale things.â€
An Taisce criticises ‘living city’ proposal
PLANS by EML architects to transform Limerick “into a 24-hour living city” by 2020 have been slammed by An Taisce as “pie in the sky” and lacking in solid foundations.
Dan Sullivan, the chair of the Limerick association of An Taisce, said he regarded EML’s recent briefings as nothing more than “planning by press release”, and criticised EML for not producing business costings to back up their plans.
“Instead, we get lots of pictures of possibilities with no basis of any sort of reality. We need a bit more realism and a bit less pie in the sky,” said Mr Sullivan.
When contacted by the Limerick Leader, Hugh Elliott, managing director of EML architects, said he was “somewhat taken aback at the negativity behind An Taisce’s comments.
“Our vision is simply that, our vision,” said Mr Elliott, one of the co-founders of the architectural practice, which has secured numerous awards since it was established in 1983.
Since this July, EML have organised two briefings for professionals in the city where they presented their challenging blueprint, Opportunities for Urban Development, Where to Next?
Under their ambitious plans, 30-storey high buildingsâ€“towering over the 15-storey Riverpoint buildingâ€“along the quays were also envisaged. Most recently, they mooted a â‚¬350m tram system in Limerick city and called for the city’s population to increase to at least 150,000 by 2020.
However, Mr Sullivan said he wished to remind the public that EML architects were also responsible for the design of Cruise’s Street, which the architects now wished to see demolished.
“We have no need to import more such lame ideas,” he said.”Lots and lots of pretty drawings are being produced, but we’re seeing very little detail to back up the business cases for how all these various developments can live together.”
However, Mr Elliott said it would be interesting to hear An Taisce’s vision for Limerick city.
“A city or enterprise without a vision is doomed to failure, or at best mediocrity. Cities of comparable size all over Europe have developed models for achieving their vision, why can’t Limerick?” he asked.
EML plans to hold another business briefing in the new year. Since EML began discussing the city’s future numerous other bodies have been prompted to put forth their own vision for Limerick, including Shanahan O’Connor architects, who have outlined an alternative proposal for the redevelopment of Arthur’s Quay.
Is this the same Dan Sullivan of Archiseek fame?:eek:, strong words indeed! Are you going to respond to Hugh Elliotts invitation to enlighten him on An Taisce’s “vision” for the city?:D