Eoghan Dalton Reports
Construction works on the North Quays project are expected to be completed by the middle of 2022.
It will be the end of a process that is likely to begin in the coming days as the planning application for the project is submitted. Councillors were told last week in City Hall that a decision on the application from Falcon Real Estate should be available by September.
Director of Planning Michael Quinn said the tender process for the works is due to start in the next number of months and preliminary works on the site will be begin in the New Year. There were further reassurances provided that Government funding for the development will be delivered.
In response to a query from Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) that €18m is still needed for the project for 2019, as just €7m has been committed to date, chief executive Michael Walsh said the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has told the council that the funding method will be “multi-annual”, with more funding therefore expected before year end.
Meanwhile, Mr Walsh said An Bord Pleanala has contacted the council seeking more information on the bridge set to link the city’s quays. The local authority had applied for permission last December to build the sustainable transport bridge which is being designed for pedestrians and cyclists.
However, an Bord Pleanala wants further information on one specific element concerning the vessel protection system on the opening section. Mr Walsh said there are piles in the river to prevent river traffic colliding with the bridge itself.
The planning authority has contacted the council regarding the “visual aspect of that protection system”, said the council chief. Waterford Council will respond within the next fortnight and it hopes for a decision in August, councillors were told.Despite the request for more information, Mr Walsh was insistent that it will have “no impact on our timelines”. “It’s not on a critical path” he continued. “We’re continuing our design work on all the elements involved in terms of the city centre access and the sustainable transport bridge and the train station.”