'IT campus will never be built in Ferrybank' - Councillor Lawlor
A Wexford councillor has thrown cold water on the possibility of a new Carlow IT campus ever being built at Ferrybank on a site owned by the St. John of God order.
Carlow IT is understood to have agreed to buy the 32 acre site for an amount in excess of the guide price of €2.2 million, for the construction of a new purpose-built Wexford campus after a previous proposed land deal at Newtown Road fell through.
The site with stunning sea views is adjacent to Ely Hospital and Wexford Swimming Pool in a designated Special Area of Conservation.
However, during a Borough Council discussion on the Wexford/Curracloe Greenway plan which was turned down by An Bord Pleanála partly due to concerns about the impact on bird life bird life in the SAC, Labour councillor George Lawlor described any such proposal as 'a complete white elephant'.
'This is something that will never happen, given that a simple Greenway wasn't allowed in a Special Area of Conservation', he said.
'This is something that is going to continue to affect this town and its environs. A campus of 2,000 students will never be built on the other side of a badly-congested bridge. That is never going to happen, apart altogether from the SAC', he said.
Afterwards, Cllr. Lawlor said the Higher Education Authority were 'dragged kicking and screaming to the table' by Brendan Howlin, in an attempt to ring-fence the €10 million for the Newtown Road site.
'It's my view that Carlow IT are trying to put up the facade of engaging with this project when they know full well that this site will never get planning due to environmental issues in the area'.
'We have already been turned down on a simple Greenway due to concerns by the National Parks and Wildlife Service'.
'The campus will never be built and I know that is the view of officials fo Wexford County Council', said Cllr. Lawlor.
'The notion of a campus of 2,000 students on the other side of an already congested bridge is not logical', apart from the issue of the SAC'.