TREES have began to be cut down in Vizes Field, to the despair of one of the local residents Valerie O’Connor.
They are making way for a 28-room block of apartments designed for the elderly.
But a group of local residents have long opposed the scheme, suggesting instead one of the city’s many derelict sites be retrofitted for the project.
They instead wanted to keep one of the few green spaces in this part of the city.
Ms O’Connor said the felling of trees is the final insult for residents - especially because they argued for alterations to the housing design to keep them.
“If we assume the building had been going on this field anyway, the trees could have been kept if the building had been turned around. The L-shape could have been inward facing out,” she explained, adding: “I am gutted. I am a horticulturist. I used be a paparazzo, but I gave it up because it was too predatorial. It is upsetting to see community groups applauded for their efforts in cleaning up their communities. This is all we wanted to do.”
However, Independent city east councillor John Gilligan said the obligation to provide housing to the city’s elderly must outweigh the residents’ concerns in this case.
“We have an obligation to provide housing for our elderly folk in this case. This is the only reason for building this complex. It is very easy to take the easy way out: let’s not upset anyone for fear of being unpopular. But this is not what we were elected to do. I’m glad we made this decision, and I am sure in the long term, it will prove to be the right choice,” Cllr Gilligan told the Limerick Leader yesterday.