“We are not property developers,” warns councillor

Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial plan
Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial plan
Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial plan

Kathy Masterson

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THE current work being undertaken by Limerick City and County Council on the Limerick 2030 economic and spatial plan is too focused on the acquisition of property, according to Fianna Fáil councillor James Collins.

During a presentation to the Metropolitan District meeting this week by economic development director Dr Pat Daly, Cllr Collins complained that much of the discussion surrounding Limerick 2030 “always reverts back to the spatial plan”.

“What’s been forgotten about a lot is the economic development aspect. I think we need to shift the focus a bit. We are not property developers,” remarked the City West councillor.

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Along with the announcement about the relocation of the Revenue Commissioners’ staff, Dr Daly provided council members with an update on other developments taking place under the plan.

He informed the meeting that plans are currently underway for the development of an Innovation Hub at LEDP Roxboro, while a new puplic-private partnership company, Innovate Limerick, is to be launched in the coming weeks.

Dr Daly also unveiled three possible designs for the proposed pedestrian bridge linking Shannon Rowing Club with Merchant’s Quay, for which a €6 million grant was provided in last week’s Budget.

He added that “significant progress” has been made on key sites critical to the development of the Limerick 2030 plan, such as the Hanging Gardens site, which the Council is in the process of purchasing.

A planning application has been lodged for the Colbert Station Plaza development, which has capacity for 11,500 square metres over five floors, including retail at ground floor level and office accomodation for knowledge and digital activity.

The Council has also secured an option to purchase the Cleeves site from the Kerry Group, which could potentially accommodate office, education, residential and tourism-related activities.

There was good news on the retail front too, as Dr Daly revealed that 317 out of 354 units in the core retail area of Limerick city centre are now occupied.

Dr Daly acknowledged that a plan is “no good unless it’s delivered”, but assured council members that once the finer details of the various projects are in place “progress will happen quickly”.