ENNIS Town Council has agreed to assess the feasibility of developing 200 car-parking spaces on a green field site in the centre of town at the Post Office Field.
Fine Gael town councillor Johnny Flynn proposed in a notice of motion to Ennis Town Council this week that the council develop a modular deck 100-space car park, as well as an additional 100 spaces on a gravelled surface underneath. He said that in his opinion, development could be undertaken, as the site is already in the ownership of the council, and €1 million has already been collected for the provision of a new car park in the town. The councillor further stressed that a parking study of the town in 2008, commissioned by Ennis Town Council, showed that Ennis would need 213 more car-parking spaces by 2013.
Councillor Flynn’s proposal would see a parking deck located on a section of what he has described as “degraded ground” at Bank Place/Bindon Street.
Ennis Town Clerk, Eddie Power, said the proposal would have to meet a number of requirements. “Any proposal at this location would require examination under the planning system, as well as a flood-risk management and a development management justification test. Subject to that, the use of modular deck car parking may not be appropriate at this site and a modification of the modular deck system would have to be considered to take account of river flow during flooding,” he added.
He also said that the proposed location of car parking spaces on a gravelled surface at the existing level of the post office field would require the construction of a ramp. “This could not be available at all times and would require water level monitoring to open or close the parking area. That could be difficult,” he commented.
Town manager, Ger Dollard, confirmed that development levies are available to the council for the provision of parking services. He said Councillor Flynn’s idea was “a serious proposal”, which would need to be assessed.
Councillor Frankie Neylon said he thought the proposal should be looked at seriously, while Councillor Michael Guilfoyle said that any assessment should include the identification of other potential parking sites in the town.
In 2008, plans to develop a public park at the Post Office Field were unveiled, while another proposal to build a new two-storey library at the site was shelved two years ago due to a lack of funding. A plan to develop a hotel on the site was also shelved previously.
Mr Power commented, “It was decided to defer any decision in relation to a public park pending the completion of the Ennis Flood Relief Scheme. A section of the Post Office Field was identified as a potential site for a new library for Ennis. The proposed area was marked on the concept drawings. This remains the present position of the council in relation to the Post Office Field,” Mr Power said.