Callan town centre
Ideas to increase the number of people living in Callan town centre are part of a plan drawn up under a pilot Town Centre Living Initiative.
Eighteen months in the preparation, the pilot scheme saw €100,000 available for researching and planning how to make the historic town centre more attractive for living in.
In Callan 16% of town centre buildings are vacant, but Bridge Street alone accounts for 42% of all vacant properties.
A vacancy survey was carried out, focused on the narrow, medieval street, Bridge Street, and the adaptive reuse of three buildings, one of which is to be an exemplar for best practice in energy efficient deep retrofit and conservation.
Reasons for this high vacancy level include the condition of buildings, many dating from the 1830s; lack of access to buildings, and parking; public realm and street life issues; and incompatible regulatory requirements.
Participants in the Callan scheme were the Callan Town Team, the Kilkenny County Council Architect and Conservation Officer, consultants, and property owners.
The report concludes solutions will come through a collaborative approach and by making redevelopment economicaly viable.