Waterford north quays plan has potential to be 'positive' for region - with cooperation

Kilkenny Chamber CEO 'disappointed' with some recent media coverage on Kilkenny input to consultation process

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

NORTH QUAYS

The North Quays Strategic Development Zone is a large-scale, mixed-use proposal for the Ferrybank side of the river in Waterford City.

The CEO of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce John Hurley has said the Chamber's submission regarding Waterford’s proposed North Quays development outlines a desire to see the region thrive through cooperation.

The North Quays Strategic Development Zone is a large-scale, mixed-use proposal for the Ferrybank side of the river in Waterford City. While there is currently 48,000sqm of retail floor area in the existing city centre, the North Quays has the planned potential to provide an additional 30,000sqm.

Waterford City and County Council received a number of submissions on the SDZ during the recent public consultation, including from Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s submission noted the proposed development has ‘potential to be very positive’ for Waterford City and for the wider south-east in the context of Waterford being the gateway city for the region. It also said the proposal merits in-depth research and analysis, given the size of the development, and its potential impact on other towns in the region.

Mr Hurley said he was disappointed with some recent media coverage on Kilkenny’s contribution during the consultation process. He says the goal is actually one of regional cooperation and working together.

Mr Hurley said that rather than trying to create division, the Chamber endorses the drawing up of a ‘joint retail strategy’ for the region.

“I was disappointed it suggested Kilkenny was on a mission to do something inappropriate to what was Waterford’s business,” he said.

“In fact, the NDZ is a great positive opportunity not just for Waterford, but for the whole south-east. That was the thrust of our submission — acknowledging it as a potential positive.

“Because of its size, the proposed development of the North Quays will undoubtedly bring huge change, and care must be taken to ensure that the implications are fully understood and that the change which comes is good and positive for all.”

The Chamber chief said it has already been agreed between the various local authority chief executives that a joint retail strategy document should be drawn up, but this has not been done yet. Kilkenny Chamber, in its submission, again referenced the need for this.