The developers of the Brewery development must be very disappointed with the latest planning news emerging from An Bord Pleanala. Again it is another delay, as further information must be submitted.
There were always some reservations about the size of a 5 acre shopping development at this congested location. A revised size is now more likely.
This may relieve some of the anticipated traffic difficulties that could emerge on the Manor and along John St.
Waterford could do with more investment in the City Centre. The Chamber of Commerce points out that people are spending more outside the city and in other towns.
Do existing traders in the city need to market themselves more? Could a park and ride system reduce parking costs and make the city more accessible? These are questions to be considered.
MacDonagh Junction in Kilkenny did attract much interest before Christmas, but not enough units were let at that stage and we understand that there are still many units to fill.
A smaller Brewery development on Stephen St. may be easier for the city to accommodate in terms of retail space, judging by developments elsewhere.
When it is developed the current reduction in consumer spending could well be over. And the economy would be expanding again.
Across the city in Ferrybank, there is a very serious plan for a €400 million development. This is on top of the Mahon McPhillips development currently underway near Ferrybank Church.
This looks most impressive, we just hope that there will be demand for 700,000 square feet of offices through new international business or a Government department being relocated here.
The location on the old Ardree hotel will remove a current eyesore, but again the hurdle of planning must be crossed. This time it is partly within Kilkenny County Council territory.
Traffic may be an issue to resolve, as it is on a primary route to New Ross, Rosslare and the ferry there. Access from the golf club road could help in this regard.
When these projects come on stream the Waterford City bypass will be built and the dual-carriageway from Dublin will also be in place, making Waterford far more accessible from outside, but also allowing us easier access to the midlands and eastern regions.
Will the consumer be as mobile or will oil prices remain as high and deter casual motoring? These are uncertain times and we would hope that the developers and planners can resolve the outstanding issues and get the project moving forward. It would represent a vote of confidence in the city.