An open letter to Cllr George Lawlor
FROM: Bernie Lloyd, P.R.O., Davitt Road North and Belvedere Road Residents Group, Wexford
Dear Cllr Lawlor,
Further to your comments in The Wexford People of December 8 last, regarding the issue of the proposed Courthouse at Wygram, I wish to correct some misrepresentations of the facts, and add a few observations.
1. You refer to a long list of previous objections to developments in the area. The Residents Group did make objections to Wexford Borough Council's refurbishment of the Municipal Buildings based on their proposal to remove the gateway and drive at Wygram Place, and an extension of its curtilage onto The Green to facilitate new workshops, a refuse vehicle depot and two unsupervised open car parking areas. Meetings with official personnel resulted in revised plans which omitted the above proposals and the building contract was awarded to a local firm but for whatever reason the project was not progressed.
The Municipal Buildings were sold to the Courts Service in 2007, seemingly without being put on the open market for public tender or auction.
2. The extention to Traffic Plan, which entailed a major makeover of the historic format of The Green, was not notified to the Department, and included plans for a roundabout with central elevated island at the junction of Coolcotts Lane and Belvedere Road. Wexford Borough Council were asked not to interfere with The Green and to consider a form of 'traffic calming' as an alternative to the roundabout system and to install appropriate road signs at existing junctions. These suggestions were not accepted and the development proceeded as planned. The roundabout's central island presented a traffic hazard and subsequently had to be lowered to to a safe leve.
3. We now refer to Local Housing applications. By Statute, applications and objections, must conform to the standards prescribed in Planning Legislations and the Town Development Plan. Wexford Borough Council's local planning authority and An Bord Pleanala (if appeals are warranted) decide if a planning application is granted or refused.
The local planning authority refused permission for the development of sites at The Green (three applications); St Johns Drive (two applications, while a third application was granted permission); Coolcotts Lane town end (one application).
Reasons cited for refusal included over-dominant appearance, scale and extent, height and bulk, overlooking, endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and being contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
4. The one-way traffic system on Wygram/ Davitt Road was objected to, on the grounds that there would be a massive increase in traffic. This was borne out in due course by a survey taken before and after the system was introduced, showing an increase from 250 vehicles per hour to 830 vehicles per hour.
Are you seriously contending that local residents should not have become involved in these issues from the beginning? Yours faithfully Bernie Lloyd