Businesses is Athenry have backed proposals to upgrade the town centre – after three years of ‘engagement’ to tweak the plan.
Athenry/Oranmore area county councillors will vote to give the go-ahead to the plans, at their meeting at County Hall next week – and local traders have given the plan a ‘thumbs up’.
Athenry Traders had been vociferous in its opposition to the proposals first unveiled in 2020 but confirmed in a statement to the Connacht Tribune this week that most of the businesses are now in favour of it.
The Athenry Town Public Realm Enhancement involves plans for North Gate Street, Davis Street, Burke’s Lane, Cross Street and The Square.
The Council’s design team said it wanted to develop the Market Square as a “modern version of its original purpose”, as a place to assemble, to meet, a place to eat, do business and a place for all ages.
The Council said the aim of the streetscape enhancement was to “encourage investment in and improve the character and appearance of historic areas of the town” as part of a broader regeneration programme to instil “pride and confidence” in Athenry.
It had been opposed by Athenry Traders but this week the organisation confirmed it had been working for three years “to get a proposal before our councillors that is amenable to all”.
“We have held numerous meetings with our local political representatives as well as many engagements with Galway County Council officials. These new plans which originally didn’t include Cross Street – that was a separate proposal – or Northgate Street, are exciting,” the group said in a statement.
“This new plan has incorporated most of our proposals including prioritising pedestrian access while maintaining slow vehicular access to our town centre. Yes, we still have reservations about some aspects of the plan, but other stakeholders believe the plans don’t go far enough.
“What we have is an agreed plan that has been unanimously endorsed by all stakeholders including the business community,” Athenry Traders said.
The Part 8 planning application will be voted on by councillors next Tuesday.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:
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