New proposal to boost town centre

Dundalk town centre could be set for a major facelift and economic boost if a new proposal comes to fruition.

A local councillor has urged Louth County Council to look into the development potential of Bridge St. to help regenerate the area and potentially help businesses already in the vicinity. The plan would involve compulsory purchase of derelict buildings to create both business and residential units.

Green Party Councillor Mark Dearey stated that there had been visions previously for redevelopment in the Bridge St area under the town development plan but that none of these had been realised to date. At last night’s Municipal District Meeting in Dundalk Cllr Dearey put forward a motion stating:

“That this Council initiate a plan and use the CPO procerss to unlock the development potential of Bridge St. Dundalk, by assembling parcels of idle and derelict properties to allow for innovative new residential and business uses. (Examples might include a student accommodation quarter and/or a Digital Business Cluster.)

According to Mark the area has a number of buildings which have been lying idle for years and now is the time to take action and try and develop the area into a central hub to help improve the area.

“I walked through Bridge St recently and there are so many units that haven’t been traded out of in years. There are four or five units in a row which have been lying idle and which have the potential to be turned into something innovative and exciting to help boost that area of the town.

“There has been a decline down that end of town which has been spreading south in recent years with the exception of Church St. which I think has some wonderful shops and is an area I really love to walk through. The council have powers to use the CPO process and create something like for example a digital hub or student quarters to breathe new life into the region.

“Athlone has done something similar by building a huge civic centre and arts centre to create a lively hub which has created plenty of footfall in the area. I believe that any development in the area can only benefit the current business owners who are working in Bridge St. and although it may come across as a bit drastic I really believe that this is a discussion worth having. I will be putting forward this motion this evening (Tuesday November 7) at the Municipal District Meeting and I look forward to seeing what response I get from council officials,” stated Mark.

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