independent

Tuesday 17 September 2019

A playground is next project as the council attempts to fix estate

The Village Centre that never opened at Clonard Village.
The Village Centre that never opened at Clonard Village.
ClonardVillage.
Signs point to facilities such as a medical cente and supermarket that never materialised.

By David Looby

CLONARD Village has been on Wexford County Council's high priority list of estates to be completed for years - but much of the unfinished estate remains in a state of disrepair today.

There are plans to sell parts of the estate (which was developed by Cleary & Doyle in several different phases) but there has been a significant delay.

Director of Services for Planning Tony Larkin said: 'A lot of the facilities are completed like the crèche and the supermarket but they are caught up in legal affairs.'

Describing the estate, which has several hundred residents, as a 'high priority site', Mr Larkin said: 'It's a high density development and it needs to be finished in the correct way. We're very hopeful that it will be finished as designed.'

Wexford County Council officials are working with two receivers to get the Clonard Village project completed.

'A lot of the facilities are on the social side of the equation but they just haven't been brought to the market. We're very hopeful it will be finished as designed. It's a big complex development with multiple planning permissions. We're unhappy it has taken so long as it has but this is symptomatic of the times we're in...but a lot of properties are moving now.'

Senior Planner Diarmuid Houston is optimistic that a new playground and some cosmetic works will take place in the estate over the next year.

He said discussions with the receivers have been positive.

'We're starting to get indications that they are willing to move on the site. Most of the works required are cosmetic. The health centre opposite Woodie's wasn't kitted out as well as the other buildings, so that will need some work, but some of the offices have been taken up.'

Mr Houston said a new playground will be a key part of discussions with the receivers.

'A playground was in the original plan and we'll be looking to have that built.'

Alternative uses are planned for some of the retail premises, which may involve them being knocked through to create expanded sites.

He said the receiver may bring the retail area to the front of the estate to a more fit-for-sale standard so they can market the buildings for sale. 'They would be keen to pass on the buildings as soon as possible.' He said the greater master plan for the area will fulfil some of the promise for Clonard, adding that the completion of the new inner relief road is key to this.

'The road has stumbled with the recession and there is a perception that Clonard is outside of the town. We'll be in discussion with the developers as there is another piece of land owned by Cleary & Doyle which is a very good site.

'A lot of the constraints have been overcome and if we can get these roads completed and get housing developments in the area then Clonard will form a very strong part of the fabric of the town.'

Wexford People

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