A prime, 2.3-acre former bacon factory in Tralee town centre will be an ideal ‘mini town’ — with strong amenity, market and tourism elements, along with some residential and office space — the public has decided.
Kerry County Council has published a summary of the findings of 800 submissions on the future use of the former Denny bacon factory.
Over six weeks, the council held a public consultation at the ‘Island of Geese’ site, which was gifted to the people of Tralee by Kerry Group two years ago.
The ‘island’ lies west of Tralee’s two historical settlements around the Dominican friary and the 13th century Norman castle.
Locals said they would like the area, or part of it, to be used as a farmers’ market/food market, similar to the English Market in Cork, or the Milk Market in Limerick.
About 7% of respondents also mooted a skate park, but ruled that cycling was out, due to the lack of dedicated cycle lanes in the county town. A car park was also a major thumbs down, with respondents complaining of expensive pay-parking.
The vast bulk of respondents were in the 35-to-54 age group, while many demanded an old, red-brick chimney remain as a monument.
Site clearance will commence in the new year and the redesign and master plan will go out to tender for a €3m redevelopment spend.
Town mayor, Cllr Terry O’Brien, said the level of engagement in the consultation was unprecedented and provided a useful consultation template for the future.
“A project like this would normally just proceed through planning and statutory processes, without any widespread consultation,” he said.
“But Kerry County Council was always conscious of the fact that this site was gifted to the people of Tralee and we wanted them to have their say.”
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