City & County Councillor Eddie Mulligan (FF) has called for the establishment of a steering committee to work on the proposed development for Waterford’s North Quay.
In the wake of last week’s exclusive report into the Government’s proposed development for the North Quay, Cllr Mulligan has called for increased public consultation and a “co-ordinated effort”.
“If Minister Coffey is serious about delivering this, let’s establish a multi-sector steering group… with appropriate structures for implementing and monitoring the plans,” he said.
“Let’s ensure this is not a piecemeal development. We have one opportunity at this and it must be in the interests of creating major regeneration for Waterford City and we must get it right. We need to ask the people of Waterford about what they want.”
Cllr Mulligan referred to recommendations made in the Waterford Planning Land Use and Transportation Study (PLUTS) 2004 and the City Development Plan 2013-2019 in relation to the North Quays.
He said many guidelines had been adhered to, but highlighted the need for the creation of a community which is both socially and economically sustainable.
In particular, he highlighted the recommendation that the North Quays should accommodate 204 housing units and offer 30 per cent social and private housing.
“I don’t see any housing provision included in the plans. We need social and private housing as part of the development. This development can’t be solely office based, it needs to be a mixed used development,” he added.
“These plans have to go to public consultation. Local communities need to know what’s happening and form part of the plan. There has to be contributions by businesses people, public sector etc.”
Cllr Mulligan also called for the Ard Rí site to form part of the overall plans and also called for consultation with the Department of Arts and Culture in order to develop a display area or exhibition centre at the site.
“What I’ve seen has all been proposed commercial development,” he said. “Where we have proposed commercial development we must have sustainable city regeneration. We have to offer the highest standards of access to education, housing, social amenities etc. and develop a major contribution to the prosperity of not only the city but the region as a whole.”
Responding to reports that architecture students from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) are to participate in the delivery of the ambitious plans for the area, Cllr Mulligan said: “I believe we should not be promoting DIT. We have the WIT Department of Architecture located on The Quay in Waterford with 300 students and 18 lecturers. Why are we promoting DIT and why are we even considering this? We should be promoting local students.”