Monday 14 May 2007

Major masterplan for The Murrough

A hotel, apartment blocks, and a civic area could be constructed on The Murrough in Wicklow town following the unveiling of a new plan drawn up for the Town Council.

The 'Concept Masterplan for The Murrough' sees the hotel being constructed on the site of the former Veha radiators factory. Also included are five blocks of apartments which span the area between Veha and Urban Villas.

A civic centre also forms part of the plan. This would comprise retail, commercial and leisure uses surrounding a small square.

At least three of these apartment blocks are planned for land which is currently occupied by a selection of businesses including the government buildings office and Wicklow Enterprise Park along with other private concerns.

The plan has been described by Town Manager, Michael Nicholson, as 'merely a plan'. 'It in itself won't actually lead to any development happening. It is up to individuals, if they wish to do so, to apply for planning...the plan merely ensures that if anyone does apply, it must comply with the overall plan for the area,' he stated.

Rumours that the Quinn Group, which purchased Veha shortly before the factory closed, planned to construct a luxury hotel on their site have continually been dismissed in recent months.

However, representatives of the company have attended recent meetings about the Murrough masterplan and are believed to have approached a number of property owners on the Murrough in a bid to increase their holding in the area.

The Murrough was identified in the review of the town development plan is being of strategic importance to the orderly development of the town. The current masterplan has been drawn up in that context.

The preparation of the action area plan for the Murrough began immediately as the council was concerned that the new owners of the Veha site were about to lodge a planning application. Mr Nicholson stated that the council wanted to ensure that any planning applications complied with the overall objectives of the Murrough.

No-one from the Quinn Group was available to comment on the matter.

Wicklow People

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