Redevelopment of gifted Tralee site generates huge response

A huge response from the public and interested groups has been received in relation to proposals for the redevelopment of a prime site in Kerry’s county town.

Redevelopment of gifted Tralee site generates huge response

Over 200 submissions have, to date, been received for the town centre site gifted to Tralee by the Kerry Group.

The now unused Denny bacon factory stands on 2.3 acres in what is known as the Island of Geese.

Proposals are being sought to help regenerate the oldest part of Tralee town centre.

A six-week public consultation was launched just three weeks ago with “nothing ruled in or out”.

Kerry Group, who retain its global headquarters in nearby Princes Street, will continue to partner with Kerry County Council in the development plans.

The “island”, an ancient market place and shambles, was part of a medieval complex in Tralee including the Dominican friary and the 13th century Norman castle.

The council has already received €1.5m in EU funding (through the Southern Regional Assembly) for urban renewal.

The allocation will provide half the cost of clearing the site, presenting a master plan and developing an amenity area and adjoining streets.

The public consultation includes a mobile unit on the site which will remain open during the Rose of Tralee Festival.

A minimum of 30% of the site will be retained as a public amenity space, said Michael Scannell, former Tralee town clerk and now director of services with the county council.

Since the launch of the first phase of public consultation on the site three weeks ago, the council has received a steady flow of ideas, he said.

“We’re pleased by a very strong response from the public already. People are talking about this exciting project and engaging with the consultation process,” Mr Scannell said.

Although none of the suggestions have, so far, been made public, the council indicated submissions already received “have been very interesting and well-conceived”,.

Three weeks remain in the consultation process after which a master plan will be formed.

An Ordnance Survey map dating from 1878 identifies the area is identified as a “Pork Shambles” — “shambles” being an archaic term for a butcher-shop, testifying to the fact that pork-manufacturing was present on the site long before the establishment of Slattery’s Bacon Factory in 1922.

Furthermore, 19th century maps also reveal industries as diverse as clay-pipe making and salt-extracting clustered around the historical pork shambles.

In 1943, Slattery’s Bacon Factory was purchased by the Denny Company. The plant employed up to 400 people at its peak. In 1982, it was acquired by Kerry Group. The factory closed in December 2008.

In February 2014, Kerry Group announced the company had decided to gift the site to the people of Tralee

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