Carrick-on-Suir traders concerned at proposed removal of parking spaces in Sean Kelly Square area

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Sean Kelly Square, Carrick-on-Suir

Traders in Carrick-on-Suir's Sean Kelly Square and Westgate have welcomed plans to invest in upgrading the streetscape of their area but are concerned over a proposal to remove eleven parking spaces. 

Eighteen shop, restaurant and business owners employing 60 people in the Sean Kelly Sqaure and Westgate met on Monday night to discuss Tipperary Co. Council's Part 8 planning application for the revamp. 

The public realm and road safety plan prepared by design consultants went on public display at Co. Council offices last Wednesday, January 31 and will remain on display until Wednesday, February 28. 

The Co. Council is seeking the public's views on the plan and has invited local businesses and anyone with an interest in the project to lodge written submissions to the Council by March 14. 

John Hogan, who runs Kehoe's Butchers at Westgate, said all the traders who attended the meeting at the Westgate Cafe on Monday are in favour of investment in their town and are keen for their town to be upgraded. 

But they have serious concerns about the proposal to take away nine  car parking spaces from Sean Kelly Square and two at the junction of Bridge Street and West Gate as well as the provision of disabled parking spaces and loading bays. 

"Everyone is delighted at the plans to spend money but a lot of people at the meeting felt removing 11 parking spaces is a bridge too far," he told The Nationalist. 

Mr Hogan said the Sean Kelly Square and Westgate business owners resolved at the meeting to submit any questions they have concerning the public realm plan to the consultant designers with a view to getting responses before the Co. Council organised information day on the plan  takes place later this month.  

The traders also plan to send written submissions  to the Co. Council. Carrick-on-Suir Business Association has offered to assist business owners with their submissions. 

Carrick-on-Suir FF Cllr Kieran Bourke said he welcomed any plan to invest in upgrading Sean Kelly Square but he is very concerned about the impact losing so many parking spaces will have on the local businesses. 

Losing these spaces will cause huge inconvenience for these businesses and their customers and their views will have to be taken into consideration, he said. 

He also expressed the hope that any revamp of the Square will include the erection of a statue to the Sean Kelly. 

Cllr David Dunne said it is a great idea to create a plaza area in Sean Kelly Square and he regards the proposed project as a "once in a lifetime chance" to improve the area's streetscape. 

He is concerned that adequate provision is made for disabled car parking in the Square and hopes the concerns of traders over the loss of car parking spaces in the area can be resolved. 

  Cllr Dunne said he will be making a submission on the plan and encouraged anyone interested in the project to do the same.