Limerick Leader - Monday, 15 March, 2010
Regeneration cost has fallen to €1 billion, says boss Kenny
By Nick Rabbitts
chief executive of the city's two regeneration agencies says
the full cost to the taxpayer for the regeneration schemes will
probably be around €1 billion, down from an estimated €1.7
billion two years ago.
Brendan Kenny expects the project to provide 48 social housing
units in Moyross should be under construction this time next
initial plan which set out a spend of €1.7b included everything,
including new schools and a railway station in Moyross.
"But the reality
is some of these things will not now happen. Inevitably, the
cost of construction has reduced to the stage where the real
cost of the project is now around €1bn.
"I think the
figure of €1.7m frightened a lot of people, because it
was not achievable," he told the Limerick Leader.
Mr Kenny said the
regeneration agency had approval to build 48 social housing
units in Cliona Park in the heart of Moyross - with a planning
application due before city hall shortly.
He said: "It's
something we have been pushing for a while, and obviously it
needs to go through planning, but I am hopeful we will have
a builder in place before the end of this year. A bit of variation
needs to be done, as the land is currently green space."
Mr Kenny also said
that all being well, work should commence on a major housing
scheme in Edward Street, outside the regeneration areas by early
Michael Finneran said last week that a construction project
in Edward Street would deliver 70 units of housing to people,
currently living in Ballinacurra Weston.
Mr Kenny said this
initiative is city-council led, but he is hopeful that work
will get under way on this project by early next year.
As the regeneration scheme stalls, many residents have expressed
anger, claiming their lives were better before the John Fitzgerald
report pledged to improve Moyross, Southill, St Mary's Park
and Ballinacurra Weston.
Mr Kenny accepted
this - and also pointed out that the regeneration agencies will
be looking to refurbish the more modern homes in Moyross, instead
of total demolition as was originally proposed.
"We are suggesting
more refurbishment in Moyross, rather than a total demolition.
may now be retained rather than demolished.
"We would like to see a kick start on some of the refurbishment
work, but it is totally dependent on funding and approval,"
"I can understand
where people (who are upset] are coming from. There has been
progress, but the reality as is with the demolition of houses,
some people may believe their communities are being destroyed
even further. Its a complicated issue - things have become worse
for some, while others things have got better."
Mr Kenny welcomed
last week's Prime Time programme - despite the negative image
it portrayed of Limerick - because it may help speed up the
the money we have spent already, people are not seeing any change.
we need to speed up the programme. If the Prime Time programme
helps secure investment then it has to be a good thing,"