Revised plans for city development ‘must go further’

REVISED plans for a major development which would transform one of the oldest parts of Waterford city are a step in the right direction, but they do not go far enough to address the concerns of residents, a lobby group says.

Waterford Council of Trade Unions has met with the developers, KRM Construction, and discussed amended plans to build a shopping centre in the Michael St/New St area. The group welcomes changes made to the original plan, but want the developers to go further in accommodating the wishes of the local community.

The WCTU also strongly condemned the “orchestrated campaign” to vilify Green Party member Brendan McCann in the local media. WCTU president, Dick Roche, criticised the campaign.

“There is no doubt that the influence brought to bear by the Inner City Alliance and the local community around New St forced KRM to go back to the drawing table with this development.

“The development is still far too large for the area, there are still too many cars being forced into narrow streets in the city centre, and KRM have not yet incorporated any facilities for the local community such as drop-in centres for the elderly, social housing etc.

“It is no coincidence that a vicious verbal attack on Brendan McCann has occurred just weeks before the submission of revised plans for the development. Although KRM were not directly involved in the attack, the fact that a man they have engaged as letting agent, Des Purcell, was involved shows the aversion these people have towards community involvement and democracy in the planning process.”

As part of a structured process, the consortium and KRM’s team of professional advisors engaged directly with almost 200 people over the last three weeks. KRM outlined their plans to WCTU on Wednesday .

Paul Miskella, chief executive, KRM Construction Partnership hailed KRMs meeting with Waterford Alliance for Sustainable Inner City Development and said they are “open to further discussions with the Alliance, Mr McCann or any other interested party”.

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