herald

Monday 24 November 2014

Liberties plan that cost €1m gathers dust

CITY chiefs paid €1m to consultants to produce a regeneration plan for the Liberties -- but haven't yet implemented any of their recommendations.

The Liberties Local Area Plan (LAP) has been allowed to remain unused since it was adopted by Dublin City Council four years ago, says a councillor.

The 262-page document outlined a grandiose vision for the famous city area but "absolutely nothing" has been done, Criona Ni Dhalaigh said.



parks

It envisaged a "thriving city quarter, home to a strong inclusive community" by 2020.

But if the pace of development of the last four years is anything to go by, this will not happen.

Cllr Ni Dhalaigh said: "I don't know how many LAPs we're after bringing to the chamber now and nothing has happened.

"I worked for two years on the Liberties local area plan.

"It was a good plan. It wasn't going to be a magic wand but it was a good plan and nothing, absolutely nothing, has happened except that we spent over a €1m on consultation."

Fine Gael's Ruairi McGinley told the Herald that the main problem has been the economic downturn, saying: "The climate changed so much from when we started talking about this (the Liberties LAP)."

Ms Ni Dhalaigh believes, rather than spending money on LAPs for other areas, the council should use the cash to achieve "some of the goals and the aims" set out in the Liberties document.

The council admitted some area plans have had a bigger impact than others.

"Since doing the Clongriffin/Belmayne LAP, what has happened is investment on the ground by the council and NAMA in changing the environment which is one of the most important issues locally," an official said.

Since the Liberties document, none have been compiled by consultants, she added.

"All have been done with in-house resources so there has been no extra cost to the council," the official said.

Among the aims of the Liberties LAP was to create a high quality network of public spaces, parks and streets but Cllr Ni Dhalaigh (SF) said that locals have yet to see this being implemented.

She raised the issue at a meeting of the council's south central area committee.

comurphy@herald.ie

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