CONCERNS have been raised that the €1.75m Market Building project will become a failure.
Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn told The Clare People that he’s concerned over the low level of activity in the covered market building and that a plan needs to be devised to make sure the building is successful.
Mr Flynn added that it was ‘unfortunate’ that Ennis Town Council decided to proceed with the project in the Gaurankilla area.
The Fine Gael councillor said, “The feedback on the ground I’m getting is that people are confused — they don’t know whether it is a car park or a covered market and I’ve passed it a few times myself recently and while there was a good bit of activity leading up to Christmas there doesn’t seem to be much activity in the Market (now).
“It’s something that needs to be discussed and worked on to make sure that the investment in the building itself is successful.”
Mr Flynn added that he has forwarded suggestions onto the Ennis Municipal District Executive to proceed with plans for the building.
“It needs to be a multi-use building — it should be capable of catering for entertainment as well as being a covered market.
“At this stage it probably needs a vision of what it’s going to be and that needs to be fairly well considered,” he said.
Mr Flynn also said it was regretful that a feasibility report which recommended using Moran’s Carpark as the most suitable site was ignored.
“I agreed fully with that location… From my memory most stall holders and local businesses in that area agreed with it also.
“Unfortunately in 2012/13 it was decided at Ennis Town Council level to proceed with the project in the alternative Gaurankilla area where it’s now located.”
Mr Flynn also questioned why a management plan — as required as part of the planning application — for covered market hasn’t been produced to date.
Clare County Council, in a statement to The Clare People, said, “There are a number of outstanding issues still being dealt with by the contractors on the Market Project and the final account has not yet been agreed.
“An operational management plan will be put in place when the final elements of the contract are complete.
“In the meantime, Clare County Council has been working on the various elements of the operation and management of the building, including car-parking, casual trading markets, services & security, etc.
“A Market Advisory Committee is also in place as a consultative committee for the operation and management of the facility.
“This committee comprises Elected Members, Council officials, and business and community representatives,” the statement read.