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Public consultation on future of iconic Tralee site Denny Bacon Factory

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Frank Hayes of Kerry Group looks over the Denny site map with Michael Scannell, Kerry County Council, and Cllr Terry O'Brien, Mayor of Tralee. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL has announced the first phase of public consultation on the future use of the Denny Bacon Factory site in Tralee, which was donated to the people of Tralee by Kerry Group in 2014. The council has received €1.5m in EU funding for the regeneration of the historic site which has enormous and exciting potential for the wider revitalisation of Tralee.

The opening of consultation on the future of the ‘The Island of Geese’ – the historic name of that part of Tralee – coincides with the launch of a new website, www.theislandtralee.ie which will allow people to log on and submit ideas. Survey forms are also being made available at up to 20 locations around Tralee.

Over the next six weeks, members of the public will be able to propose ideas which will be used to form a master-plan for the 2.3 acre site, a minimum of 30% of which will be retained as a public amenity space. All responses will be examined by the council as that master plan is developed.

An on-site mobile unit has been opened inside the main entrance to the former factory which members of the public can visit over the coming weeks to discuss their proposals for maximising the economic, cultural, social and civic potential of the factory site. (See social media and website for opening times).

A display of images of the plant recently compiled by Kerry County Council will also go on public display in the mobile unit and members of the public are welcome to visit to view the images.

Mayor of Tralee Cllr Terry O’Brien said the location of the site so close to Tralee town centre means it has enormous potential: “This is the most exciting development for Tralee in many years. We must acknowledge the generosity of Kerry Group in donating the site to the people of Tralee in the first instance. It will be now be up to Kerry County Council, working closely with the people of Tralee, to rejuvenate and revitalise this historic and valuable location,” he said.

“The people of Tralee and the whole county are being given an unprecedented opportunity to have a direct input into what should be done with a site such as this. I would encourage anyone with an idea or a proposal to come forward and help to ensure the potential of this site is maximised.”

Director of Services with Kerry County Council Michael Scannell said Kerry County Council has a very open mind about what should happen with the site: “We have an open door about this development. All projects such as this go through statutory consultation processes but ever before all of that happens, we are giving people this opportunity to have their say.

“We are conscious that this site was donated by Kerry Group to the people of Tralee. Essential to the future development of the site will be a sense of ownership of the site by the people of Tralee and by having this open consultation in an informal way, we hope that sense of buy-in and ownership can be achieved.”

Director of Corporate Affairs with Kerry Group, Frank Hayes said he was delighted to see the project advance to its next stage: “When Kerry Group handed over this strategically important site to the people of Tralee in 2014, we hoped that it would become a catalyst for the regeneration of the area. I am confident that this central location can become a wonderful asset for the people of the town in the years ahead and that its redevelopment will significantly enhance and revitalise Tralee town centre.”
 


 
Frank Hayes of Kerry Group looks over the Denny site map with Michael Scannell, Kerry County Council, and Cllr Terry O'Brien, Mayor of Tralee.
PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000

According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values recorded in 2021. At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG) recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand […]

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According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors
DNG, house prices are set to continue rising this year, following the strong growth in values
recorded in 2021.

At a national level (excluding Dublin) the DNG National Price Gauge (NPG)
recorded an increase in the average price of a second hand home of 13.6% last year, a marked
acceleration in the rate of inflation compared to 2020 when prices rose by 1.4%.
At the national level (including Dublin) the overall rate of price increase last year stood at 12.0%. The NPG, which tracks house prices across the country on a half yearly basis, recorded growth of 5.3% in the six months to December 2021, compared to an increase of 7.9% in the first six months of last year.
All regions of Ireland recorded double digit price growth in 2021, except for Dublin (+9.9%).
Nationally, the strongest rate of house price appreciation was in the Mid-West region (+17.2%)
followed by the Midlands (+14.2%) and West (+13.8%) whilst the South East region saw the
lowest rate of growth in prices last year (+11.0%).
Outside the capital the highest average price was found in the Mid-East (€349,259) followed by the South West (€279,844).

Looking at the outlook for the year ahead, the agency forecasts further growth in prices both in
Dublin and nationally, with regional price gains set to outstrip those in the capital where nominal
values are already elevated, and affordability is more challenged.
The agency is forecasting an average uplift in regional markets of 12-13% this year whilst price growth in Dublin will more likely be high single digits, in the order of 6-8%.
The factors underpinning the forecasts include continued strong economic and wage growth, the heightened household savings levels seen in 2020-21, the extension of government initiatives for first time buyers announced in the budget, strong demand from this cohort evident in the mortgage approvals data and the prevailing low interest rate environment.
On the supply side, whilst the supply of new residential completions is set to increase to around 26,000 units this year, this will still be well below the estimated 30-35,000 new units required each year to meet demand thereby putting upward pressure on prices in the market.
“Whilst Covid-related issues rightly dominated the news agenda in 2021, housing undoubtedly came a close second, given the emotive nature of the housing debate and the current market dynamics of
rising house prices and rents and a shortage of accommodation available to buy or rent, not only
in Dublin but across the country.”, said DNG’s Director of Research Paul Murgatroyd said “Price growth was clearly very robust last year across all regions and the factors that drove those increases continue to be evident in the market as we enter 2022. The stock of homes for sale in the second hand market remains very low by historical standards and this, combined with the elevated level of demand, brought about in part by factors linked to changing behaviours throughout the pandemic, will mean further price appreciation will be evident as we progress through the year ahead.”

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Iarnrod Eireann refuses plans for footbridge at railway station

By Sean Moriarty Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station. Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Iarnrod Eireann will not be providing a footbridge to allow pedestrian’s access Killarney Bus Station direct from Killarney Railway Station.

Following a motion put forward by Cllr John O’Dongohue last year it was decided that Kerry County Council would write to the railway company about building a footbridge to link the two public transport hubs.

Currently rail passengers must walk from Killarney station, via the front entrance of the Great Southern Hotel and then walk the entire length of the Outlet Centre before reaching the bus station.

“It’s an anomaly that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other European country,” said Cllr O’Donoghue in November.

Iarnrod Eireann has responded to the letter sent shortly after the November meeting.

In reply the railway company said that in October 2019 it carried out a study which included the possibility of a either an underpass or a footbridge.

The study revealed that passenger would face a short four to five minute walk when trying to access one hub from another.

“Iarnrod Eireann would regard this as scheme as a low priority investment,” said chief executive Jim Meade in the letter.

Cllr Donoghue said the response was “ludicrous” and that he had often witnessed passengers lugging suitcases through the Outlet Centre.

“You would not jog it in five minutes,” he said.

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