MEMBERS of Nenagh Town Council will defer their decision on whether to build a public car park and carry out associated works at Hanly’s Place until their February monthly meeting. The councillors have requested a more detailed map of the proposed plan for the area before making a decision.
At this Monday night’s meeting of Nenagh Town Council, town manager Marcus O’Connor outlined plans for the area, which would include the development of 10 parking spaces and the introduction of a metered parking system.
Mr O’Connor described the project as a “modest” development that would not “generate a huge volume of additional traffic”.
He also revealed that the plan made provision for additional public lighting in the area.
“The area has remained derelict for a long period of time,” Mr O’Connor explained.
“This is an opportunity to tidy up the area,” Mr O’Connor added, suggesting that the development would “not have a negative effect on the area”.
Labour’s Cllr Virginia O’Dowd welcomed the proposed development. “All in all I think this will really improve the area”.
“I have met business people and residents of the area and listened to their concerns,” Mayor Lalor McGee, Labour, said. “We are always trying to promote business in the town and this is another way of doing that.”
“Hanly’s Place has been acting as a de facto car park for some time,” Cllr Tom Moylan, FG, said, adding that the development would “help alleviate illegal parking in the laneway”.
“We have to make sure that issue is dealt with,” Cllr Moylan insisted.
“This can be a positive thing for the area provided we come to a satisfactory end to this for the businesses and residents,” Independent councillor Hughie McGrath said.
Cllr McGrath raised several issues with regard to the plan that the councillors had been furnished with. He indicated that a more detailed plan was required before a decision could be made on the proposed development.
Although Fianna Fáil councillor Jimmy Moran said that he “cannot understand what is holding up this situation”, Cllr Séamus Morris, SF, described the issue as “complex”.
“Hanly’s Place is operating for 20 to 30 years with a dysfunctional traffic system,” Cllr Morris said.
“We have to be careful here that what we do tonight makes things better and not worse. “It is very important that we get it right and I would like to see more detail,” Cllr Morris said.
Cllr Conor Delaney, FG, requested that the executive “flesh it out a little bit more” with detailed maps, while Cllr Tommy Morgan, FF, raised the issue of the large number of secondary school students who used Hanly’s Place as a through way on a daily basis.
Following a lengthy discussion, during which town engineer Peter Fee explained various aspects of the proposed plan, Mr O’Connor admitted that “it might be helpful if we could bring back a drawing setting out the full traffic markings and regulations for Hanly’s Place”.
Mr O’Connor did reiterate, however, that this was an “opportunity to tidy up” Hanly’s Place, an area he described as a “bit of a blackspot”.
Mr O’Connor revealed that he was “mindful of the resident’s concerns”, before insisting that, following works there would be “strict enforcement” of the traffic laws in the area.
Cllr Tom Mulqueen, FF, asked that the item be placed on the agenda for the February meeting.
“I want peace, not war, with the residents and business people in Hanly’s Place,” Cllr Mulqueen said.
Mr O’Connor agreed to present a detailed plan for the area to councillors before the February meeting.