Feature

Kerry County Council Publishes Master Plan for Tralee Town Centre West

Kerry County Council has published an initial draft of the master plan for Tralee Town Center West and the town’s Island of Geese site. Reddy Architecture and Urbanism developed the plan, which includes the design and architectural framework that the council has laid out for the area.

Part of the plan’s purpose is to explain the site’s relevance alongside Tralee Town Centre’s existing areas. The development goals include lively residential and commercial areas that don’t overshadow similar areas elsewhere in Tralee, and an aesthetically pleasing, vibrant environment that’s pleasant to interact with. The plan also dictates that 30% of the Island of Geese should be used for public open space.

The hope is that the public space will be ready for development by the end of 2019. The area will include a playground, greenspace, benches, and a spire-like structure atop a historic brick chimney.

In 2014, the 2.3-acre site was donated to the community by Kerry Group. The site’s former structures, including the Denny Bacon Factory, were demolished and cleared to make room for the new development. Multiple historical buildings were removed in the process.

Funding for the project comes from the European Regional Development Fund, the Southern Regional Assembly, and Kerry County Council. The project is a Designated Urban Centre Grand Scheme (DUCGS) Priority of the Southern and Eastern Operational Programme (SEOP) 2014 – 2020.

“It’s very exciting to see some of the concepts which the consultants have come up with,” said the Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Graham Spring. “This is the first stage in finalising a full masterplan for the site and I hope people will now engage with this period of statutory consultation in the same way as they did during the informal consultation phase in 2016.”

Interested parties can view the master plan draft document as part of a public consultation process over the course of the next few weeks, according to Kerry County Council. The statutory public consultation process will be launched within the next two weeks. Councillors in the Tralee Municipal District will evaluate the submissions and provide a report on them for public consumption.

“This draft plan is not designed to be overly prescriptive in relation to specific uses at locations within the site, but provides for a mix of uses that will add vibrancy to the area,” added Cllr Spring. “The redevelopment of this part of Tralee has the potential to be hugely transformative and will give a new lease of life to the town. We need to proceed through each step of the process carefully to ensure we maximise that potential and get this opportunity right.”

According to Tralee Municipal District Manager Mike Scannell, the draft master plan will allow further engagement with the public and further exploration of potential public and private funding sources for the site.

“This master plan can form the basis on which we can decide how the various elements can be brought together to make this a vibrant and attractive area within the town centre,” he said in a statement. “Before we profess with detailed designs, we need to have a clear understanding of what the site could look like and what the design, layout and architecture of the area might entail.”

“The process of developing the site will continue to be collaborative and will involve engagement between the Council, the local community and stakeholders,” he added. “This process will help ensure that Tralee Town Centre West will fulfil its potential to greatly enhance the community and social fabric of the town centre as a whole and strengthen the urban core as a centre of community life, employment and as a location of residential development. We will now engage in further consultation to hear what people think of the layout, scale and design proposals in the draft plan to help achieve our ambition of developing a centre of social, community and economic activity.”

For more information, visit www.kerrycoco.ie.

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