With no sign of a white knight arriving in Waterford to revamp the city’s North Quays ahead of next summer’s Tall Ships Race, Mayor Mary Roche believes there’s still time to improve the derelict site.
With plans for the North Quay long since discarded, hopes that the site would have an altogether more presentable appearance since the Tall Ships’ last visit in 2005 have long since bit the dust.
And while the Port of Waterford has pledged €300,000 towards next year’s hosting of the event, Mayor Roche believes there’s still time to create practical, public-friendly amenities which won’t cost the earth.
“I think it’s probably fair to say that we have faint hope that the North Quays will be developed any time soon under the current economic circumstances,” she said.
“They will, of course be tidied up and made safe for the visit of the International Tall Ships Fleet next June, but what of the immediate or even medium term?”
Mayor Roche has called for the once thriving dockside to be put to “a useful purpose” so as to “bring them into use for the people of Waterford and South Kilkenny”.
Her “simple enough” suggestions could, in her view “be easily achieved if people had half a mind” to consider the bigger picture.
Calling for “a simple park layout or a series of sports courts and pitches or even dreaded (car) parking,” Mayor Roche believes that putting the area into civic use should be seriously considered.
“Personally I favour the sports courts, followed by the park,” she added.
“One way or another, this would tidy the area up until some other use is found for them. It will be an awful shame if they are allowed to fall into further disrepair.
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