The controversial public realm upgrade works at O'Connell Square in Edenderry got underway on Monday, October 23.
Since we brought you news of the proposed works in March, there has been strong opposition in some quarters to the work. The development is part of the government's Urban Village Renewal grant scheme, through which €100,000 has been allotted to Edenderry.
The works include provision to extend the paved area around the Town Hall building area; simplify the road route/vehicular circulation around the square and the parking layout; add two new courtesy crossings at O’Connell Square; re-site the bus shelter at JKL Street, off O’Connell Square; and install a new bus shelter on the southern side of JKL Street.
As well as that, the plans look to make alterations to the existing surface water drainage in order to accommodate the works; install outdoor lighting at the Town Hall and O’Connell Square and outdoor electrical outlets; refurbish the steps and ramps at the Town Hall building; and alter the layout and paving along JKL Street from O’Connell Square to the Carrick Road junction.
The final part of the plan is to add tree and shrub planting in O’Connell Square and along JKL Street at the newly paved areas, install street furniture, seating, tree guards, bollards etc., and provide for enhanced disabled persons parking areas in O’Connell Square and JKL Street.
For a period of eight weeks, from February 22, 2017 to Friday April 21, 2017, written submissions or observations were welcomed with respect to the proposed development.
It has been claimed in Edenderry this week that a petition 'signed by thousands' objecting to the works was ignored by the council. People have expressed unrest due to the work reducing the number of parking spaces in the Square, although that figure is set to reduce by less than 10 from its current mark of 100.
Others, including businesspeople, have said that the streetscape as it is currently in O'Connell Square is poorly maintained, and that there is no guarantee that the new layout will be any better catered for in terms of maintenance.
Nevertheless, phase 1 of the works commenced on Monday, while phase 2 will take place in January.
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