Councillors vote through reduced Enhancement Project

The highly anticipated Boyle Town Centre Enhancement project will not now go ahead as planned.

The elected members of Boyle Municipal District voted on the recommendation of the County Manager in favour of a scaled down project at their monthly meeting on Friday afternoon.

The Part 8 planning was voted through for a reduced project that will now include upgraded work only on the Bridge Street and Shop Street elements of the origional plan along with an upgrade of Shop Street car park. The Crescent area will remain as it is with no upgrade or no work planned for the area at this stage.

There were seven submissions received on the project from ‘public stakeholders’ – Boyle Town Team, Brian Kane, Boyle Motor Works, An Garda Siochana, Shuttington Holdings, Kieran Feely and The Crescent Traders.

Submissions were also received from Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

The inclusion of a taxi rank, layout of Shop Street car park and retaining parking on Bridge Street were included in some submissions.

Other submissions related to the reduction in parking spaces on the Crescent and the changes to the carriageway on the upper end of the Crescent.

On reviewing all the submissions received, the CEO recommended that further consideration of the proposed layout of the Crescent was required. “It is further considered that any proposed amendments to this area would not be of a minor nature, which could be facilitated under the current part 8 process”.

“Accordingly, it is recommended that the proposed Crescent phase of works be postponed and subject to a separate Part 8 proposal in future. It is further recommended that the remaining works as set out in the development description be proceeded with under this current Part 8 development proposal” accoding to the CEO.

This was proposed by Councillor John Cummins and seconded by Councillor Tom Crosby.

Cllr Cummins in proposing the project said he had difficulty with the time frame they were given between making a decision and seeking funding on the origional proposal. “Greater consultation is required before a decision is made” he added. The proposal for the revised project was seconded by Councillor Tom Crosby.

All Councillors spoke on the project. Most were of the opinion that the loss of car parking was the main issue, especially among ‘the traders’.

Councillor Joe Murphy said it was a pity that the parking issue could not have been solved and the Part 8 for all the project gone ahead with, but he was delighted it was not all “thrown out the window”.

Director of Services Majella Hunt outlined that Bridge Street, Shop Street and the Shop Street car park would now be the subject of public realm enhancement work under the project and that would be the area going forward for RRDF funding on December 1st. She outlined that the number of submissions pertaining to the Crescent were deemed significant and if the amendments were taken into account it would entail a whole new consultation and Part 8. She added that the next RRDF call for funding would be “some time in 2021 possibly towards end of the year” and “at that stage we will have gone, I presume, out to a new part 8, new consultation and new decision in readiness for the call”.

With the councillors now having voted through the Part 8 planning for the revised project, it will be sent forward for RRDF funding with a decision on this due mid next year.

The initial project had proposed: “The provision of new parking arrangements and the introduction of shared spaces and amenity areas in the Crescent area, improvement and provision of redesigned paved areas along Bridge Street and Shop Street to improve pedestrian infrastructure along with new surfaces, lighting, hard and soft landscaping and street furniture in this town centre area, redesign of the existing public car park adjacent to the Post Office to address existing car parking arrangements and provision of a newly designed car park for safer pedestrian and traffic movement and improved landscaping and surfacing to enhance the visual amenity of this area along with all other site and ancillary works associated with the above”.

(Main image shows what was proposed for the Crescent element of the Enhancement Project, but which will not now go ahead)

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