Challenge mounted against Carrick Regeneration Plan

Photo from Google Maps

Residents of a Carrick-on-Suir housing estate are legally challenging parts of the Regeneration Plan for the town.

Sean Treacy Park Resident’s Association are objecting to a portion of Sean Healy Park being converted for parking.

While they welcome the overall improvement of the town through the plan, they believe there are alternatives.

Secretary of the resident’s association, Mary O’Shea told Tipp FM said that they are not happy with the plan as it is.

“The most important point that we’d like to stress is that we’re not in any part against the Part 8 planning.

“The only part that we’re against is the car park at Sean Healy Park.

“We’d love and welcome funding and improvement for Carrick-on-Suir, we love our town and we take great pride in it.

“The only part, if we could leave out the car park or have an alternative car park, we’d be very happy.”

Read the Sean Treacy Park Resident’s Association press release in full below;

We the Sean Treacy Park Residents Association have instituted Judicial Review proceedings seeking to quash the decision of Tipperary County Council to proceed with the Carrick on Suir Regeneration Plan. The proceedings were launched on Tuesday the 8Th of February and were adjourned to March 16th 2022. This was not a decision which the Residents Association has taken lightly as all the members have a deep pride in their town and are aware that Carrick on Suir needs regeneration and further development in the town centre in order to ensure future economic development as well as preserving the existing businesses that provide services and employment in the town.

The current Regeneration plan contains many positive elements and concepts which we support and approve of – and it is recognised that Carrick on Suir does urgently need a Plan– but one which explores and enhances the natural beauty of the scenic assets of the town rather than detracting from them. In fact we acknowledge and applaud the good work undertaken by Tipperary County Council and its staff in bringing forward plans for the redevelopment and regeneration of Carrick on Suir. While acknowledging that effort, we cannot overlook that key mistakes have been made.

The current Regeneration Plan as approved will result in a significant portion of Sean Healy Park being converted into a car park. This is an extremely regressive move in the context of the climatic and biodiversity emergency that we face. Our members and their families, their grandparents and relatives -in fact all of the residents of Treacy Park and surrounding areas have contributed to the reclaiming and landscaping of what was initially a wasteland into the beautiful scenic amenity it is today. All of these residents display a keen interest in keeping this area for the use and enjoyment of all the people in the town and visitors alike to enjoy it in its present safe and spacious state. It was of immense benefit to the whole town to have such an amenity during the last two years of pandemic.

When the current Regeneration Plan was first proposed – our members did not envisage the creation of a car park in the overall landscaping plan for the Sean Healy Park and it was with only three days before final submissions were due that members became aware of what was being proposed. There was a huge degree of shock and disbelief that Tipperary County Council would bring this forward without having considered any other alternatives. This prompted a canvass of the residents and surrounding adjacent neighbourhoods which yielded 540 signatures all opposed to any despoilment of a local area of natural beauty. On foot of this we requested Tipperary County Council to delay implementing the Plan until alternatives could be explored – but they went ahead and approved the plan as a Part VIII development with the inclusion of a car park. This in spite of the fact that we had identified other suitable sites – which were discounted as not being in Council ownership- so effectively we were ignored.

As there is no appeal process to a part VIII decision our only option to stop this car park was to issue proceedings for a Judicial Review. We considered at length the implications of this action and the effect it might have on the Regeneration Plan being significantly delayed – including those parts of the plan that we endorse and agree with. We felt that there was no other course open to us, and that no serious consideration we given to exploring other options. It was pointed out – to no avail – that the Council had other powers of obtaining privately owned land or property.

The Regeneration of Carrick on Suir is a once in a generation chance to revitalise our town. It is important that we get it right. While everybody wants it to happen as quickly as possible – It should not be at the expense of what those who came before us have reclaimed, nurtured and built – be that the medieval walls or Sean Healy Park.

Our legal team, the Dublin based FP Logue Solicitors who specialise in planning law, have advised us that we have strong grounds for overturning the decision of Tipperary County Council. If we are successful this decision will ensure that any future proposals for regeneration will include the proper assessment of alternatives to the car park at Sean Healy Park and the preservation and protection of our cultural heritage, fauna and flora.

We would ask you to support our efforts in fundraising to defray the considerable costs of this undertaking.