St Nicholas traders urge Louth County Council to amend redevelopment plans

Traders say Church Street will lose 60% of its parking spaces

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Church Street Traders

Seamus Spate, Chris Conlon, Michael Finnegan, Martin McElligott of Bids with Joanne Lavelle, Deirdre Keelan and Cllr Maeve Yore at the Church Street and Bridge Street Traders meeting in February

St Nicholas Quarter Group of residents and traders has shared with the Dundalk Democrat their submission to Louth County Council calling for changes to be made the proposed plans to the redesign of Clanbrassil Street and St. Nicholas Quarter.

At the beginning of February, a group of 20 traders from Church Street held a meeting in Sean's Tavern yesterday to discuss "oversights" in the proposed plans.

These oversights, which include a loss of parking spaces on Church Street, were detailed in the document sent to Louth County Council.

A statement from St Nicholas Quarter Group said: “As stakeholders in the proposed development and we wish to engage constructively with the council and look forward to the evolution of the proposal.

The group explained that to the council that they had “taken advice from independent qualified Engineers and consulted with residents along the main routes to the planned redevelopment including Castletown Road as far as Fatima, Wolfe Tone Terrace, St Nicholas St, The Laurels and surrounding areas.”

The group submission to Louth County Council also explained: “Church Street embodies what planners, councillors and those in support of successful town centres love: a vibrant neighbourhood of local independent traders, which the people of the town depend on for their local produce and services.”

“The proposed design acknowledges the reduction of parking in the scheme, calculated at 12%. However, the reduction of spaces in Church Street is from the current 25 parking spaces to just 9 parking spaces - a reduction of approx 60%- with no provision for alternative parking to replace the vital spaces removed from the area.

“A critical point to bear in mind is that the life of neighbouring weaker streets (Bridge Street, Patrick Street, Linenhall Street) rely upon the success of Church St. Where Church Street struggles, the neighbouring streets will flounder.”

The St Nicholas Quarter group also pushed for assurance that the works to Bridge Street would be carried out. 

The submission continued: “The group has been advised of the financial constraints pertaining to the delivery o this proposed development and that the project may not be completed in its entirety. The traders remain firmly of the view that Bridge Street is arguably the most in-need of all streets included in the proposed works. Bridge Street is a key entrance point into Dundalk, as it is directly linked to the M1 motorway via Castletown Road. Also an important thoroughfare, Linenhall Street is relied upon by pupils, traders, residents, service providers, church-goers.

“Moreover, it is the gateway into Dundalk Town Centre: the access point for a massive cohort of town users – from not only the local environs but also Northern Ireland.”

The submission to Louth County Council ended on a positive note: “The traders believe if implemented in its entirety with some amendments will deliver a much-improved environment. The Authority’s initial funding application was from Square to Bridge and completing anything less than this would be a neglect of the Authority’s responsibility to Dundalk Town Centre, and its Traders and Residents. 

“We consider it crucial that we take an ‘all or nothing’ approach to this proposal: deliver a solution that is delivered “Square to Bridge”, with the aim of these works being to sustain our town centre – to the betterment of everyone.”