*Michael McNamara. Photograph: John Mangan

A CLARE TD has said the local authority is on course to “waste” money with their plans for the Scariff Regeneration Project.

As reported in The Clare Echo last week, a special meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District elected members approved the redevelopment plan. The project will see the refurbishment of the former Supermacs and Merriman Tavern buildings and their change of use to a digital hub and a community and enterprise centre, along with construction of a public car park on the adjacent green field site and connection to existing on-site services.

24 submissions from the public have been received since consultation began in July. The Scariff Regeneration Project received an allocation of €524,000 in an application for the Rural Regeneration Development Fund in January 2022.

Concerns flagged by the public include an objection to traffic calming measures; too much greenery and new planting; bus stop facilities in the town and calls for them to be relocated out of the town centre; lack of resources for people with disabilities and lack of guard rail on the large green area and potential for children to run onto the road.

An objection was made by the Scariff St Patrick’s Day Committee on the grounds that the parade, trailers and floats would not be able to go through the town, and that the treatment of the area around Market House and McNamara’s pub would not allow bands to play.

A number of submissions supported the plan but highlighted potential improvements that could be made, especially regarding cyclist and pedestrian mobility.

In his response to these concerns, senior planner and Killaloe MD coordinator Brian McCarthy noted that “the primary objection appears to be related to the perceived loss of car-parking from the town centre. The proposed development is subject to a significant funding application and is aligned the provision of a car-park of over 40 spaces. Having regard to the submissions made and to alleviate concerns, I recommend that the car-park already permitted is constructed and operational prior to the bringing into use of this public realm project.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Michael McNamara (IND) issued a note of caution that there are similarities between what is planned with Scariff and what happened in the Market Building in Ennis. “How much more money will be wasted. They seem to have learned nothing and now seem to be intent on wasting similar money in the Market Square, somebody has to reign these people in”.

Deputy McNamara commented, “I think the plans for Scariff are nonsensical”. He noted that difficulties were encountered when the Credit Union and Rodger’s Centra were both built due to the soil and the fact that it is located on a hill.

He added, “Clare County Council have cut down almost every tree in Clare and then they go putting them up in the middle of Scariff”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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