At least one Tramore resident is deeply unhappy with the way the town is headed in terms of planning and development.

In a letter to this newspaper, Denise Leonard of Tramore Heights pinpoints a whole range of criticisms in that context. And she clearly has little faith in local politicians correcting the situation, as she would see it.

Under a heading “Tramore – the new downtown Bangkok”, she writes: “Tramore needs your help as our public representatives do not represent our needs and seem to be self-serving. There has been much recent negative media concentration regarding the development of a hotel and golf club, driven by public representatives that live in that specific area, but not a murmur of mutiny from them re the destruction of amenities on Strand Road”.

And she explains: “Celtworld, an architectural building worthy of preservation, has been sacrificed to give birth to a Dunnes Stores development. Our town planners must be blind to have endorsed such a project which would dominate our picturesque promenade.

“The site of the former Celtworld has been enclosed with ugly wire and stakes, consequently the right of way giving access from Branch Road, Lakelands and Pebble Beach to Strand Road no longer exists. For more than 30 years residents and tourists have used this shortcut. The path to the lake was well worn with adults and children carrying their bread to give sustenance to our swan and duck population who gratefully reimbursed their public by parading their young for inspection on the grassy verge and provided the magnificent sight of signets receiving flying lessons.

“Clever” planners

“Our environmentalists seem immune to the fact that the installation of stake and wire coincided with the arrival of baby signets who depended on their adoring public for their daily bread. The haunting image of the swans and their young left hungry while their sad benefactors retreat with their food is a gross outrage which we should not tolerate”.

She says Splashworld, which she describes as one of the town’s few tourist amenities, is now cut off from the tourist area without even the placing of a diversion sign. “Another clever move by our planners”, she remarks caustically.

This should be a quiet time of year for tree surgeons, she comments, but not so in Tramore where they have been gainfully employed all over the area for the past number of weeks felling trees “with no regard for the painstaking work of birds who have just completed building their nests”.


Shanty town

And the criticism doesn’t end there. “While the birds have to migrate from Tramore early it seems the word is out that the Cuckoo will still find a nest here! Stroll down Strand Road and be greeted by a proliferation of wagons, caravans, huts and trucks hawking food and junk at every turn. The sight of pancakes and burgers being cooked on stalls in front of public toilets, trailers that double up as night time outdoor public urinals and daytime food storage/dispensers bear an uncanny resemblance to downtown Bangkok!

“Most Councils would have a vision of pristine new buildings offering quality goods and services to enhance our beach area but it seems there is no need to engage in the tedium of obtaining planning permission, building is expensive and registering for rates has tax implications. The acquisition of a caravan is the only prerequisite to set up in Tramore’s busiest catchment area. Hygiene, washing or toilet facilities are not necessary! Is this destined to be our new identity?

“Tramore is now an all year round tourist attraction, with the season really getting underway from St. Patrick’s weekend, but the public toilets only opened recently.

“Our most scenic walking route – Cliff Road – now sports an ugly motorway railing which appears to have only been partially completed. While it did require safety modification, could our engineers not have designed a safety feature in keeping with the area that did not totally infringe the enjoyment of the walking path?

“Disabled parking has been moved from the top of the promenade to further down where the visibility of the sea is blocked by the promenade wall.

“The modifications to our library are a high order architectural travesty, the new entrance is totally out of proportion and overshadows the streetscape. While most towns are restoring their heritage it seems no one cares for the old picture postcard Tramore.

“However, not to entirely focus on negative development, Tramore does sport one fine building tastefully designed, bright, airy, landscaped – and home to the Council offices i.e. The Civic Offices. So it seems again that when there is personal interest there is some potent vision”!