CITY and county councillors will sit down next week for crunch talks over the planned Parkway Valley Shopping Centre.
Mayor Jim Long is to bring county councillors, city councillors, and various officials from the two authorities around the table to discuss the controversial plan - which could see a massive shopping park constructed off the Dublin Road. The meeting will be chaired by former Kerry Group boss Denis Brosnan.
With an application for retention of the development currently before Limerick County Council, there are major fears, if it goes ahead, it could represent the death knell for the city’s dying centre.
Meanwhile, Mayor Long believes the developer behind the project, Suneil Sharma is treating him as a “buck-ape” for only agreeing to a meeting with him late next month - by which time, planning permission could be in place.
Concerns were expressed by the Limerick Chamber, and the Limerick City Business Association over the project, with entrepreneur Helen O’Donnell saying if it goes ahead, it will be “devastating” for the city.
The Mayor has now issued a rallying cry to businesses in the city, asking them all to stand behind him against the multi-million euro scheme.
“It is time for leadership, it is time for all those passionate about the city to come together. I am concerned this development would wipe out a number of places in the city centre.”
In e-mail communication, Mr Sharma has offered to meet Mayor Long on Monday, October 17, to allow him to allow his team time “to prepare a comprehensive presentation of our plans.”
But this offer has angered the Mayor: “The planning decision is due on October 6, and he has already engaged senior auctioneers on this planning team looking for expressions of interests. All the boxes will be ticked when he decides to sit down with us. This is a real kick for us.”