Concerns with Roscrea development plans highlighted

The development plans for Roscrea do not provide the connectivity and required access that the public and business people were promised.

This is according to two councillors who believe that the plans are not delivering what was committed to by Tipperary County Council.

Yesterday’s Thurles Municipal District meeting saw a Chief Executive’s report on the proposed development of Gantly Road in Roscrea.

The Part 8 was proposed by Councillor Shane Lee and seconded by Councillor Michael Smith and it will now move on to the next stage.

Fine Gael Councillor Noel Coonan was disappointed that access points from Gantly Road to Main Street were not part of the plan.

He said that this goes back to the revamp of Main Street and square project and that people were given a commitment that access points would be provided to link Gantly Road and Main Street.

Councillor Coonan pointed out that there is currently one access point, but it is on private property and is closed from 5pm.

He told Tipp FM that the business people fear they will be sidestepped and that they need assurances that Main Street will continue to be developed.

“There’s a lot of concern there that we’re now developing Gantly Road, which for instance could become like Portlaoise with the main street as the new main street.

“The businesses have concerns on main street and were given a commitment that the council would provide additional connecting points or streets, call them what you like, where the public could park on Gantly Road and then come shopping through the town – that’s not in this plan.

“Commercial people and the few residents that are on main street deserve better treatment and that’s what I’m looking for and that they will not be forgotten in this development.”

Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Smith added that the plan lacks connectivity and that the stages of development have been quite staggered.

“We’ve seen a huge investment in Market Square, we’re now moving onto Gantly Road, a new street, a new development there and I think it’s going to be warmly welcomed.

“We need to know where the funding stream is going to come from, particularly for the rest of main street, Castle Street, Limerick Street and again down to Rosemary Square, because that’s what it’s all about to me, is to have that overall vision, that overall idea that can be warmly welcomed and have the people to buy into it.

“There’s lots of ideas that come from the public that the engineers and the council needs to take on board and that’s the most important thing, that we bring the people with us as we develop our towns right across the county.”

In response, Senior Executive Planner Anne Marie Devaney said that the lands at Gantly Road have been under developed and under used for some time.

Anne Marie pointed out that the access points and linking Gantly Road, what will become Gantly Street and Main Street are not part of this project, but instead form part of the Roscrea enhancement plan.

She also confirmed that the development of Main Street will be assessed as the needs arise.