Infrastructure pledge by Limerick IT for Coonagh development

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Infrastructure pledge by Limerick IT for Coonagh development

Former minister Jan O'Sullivan with LIT students LIT Students, Mary Ann O'Donnell and Craig O'Donnell on a visit to Coonagh Cross to see LIT's plans

THE Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) has committed to delivering thousands of euro worth of extra infrastructure to get its Coonagh Cross campus off the ground.

New college president Dr Vincent Cunnane says he hopes to have 550 engineering students in the northside campus by September next.

But the €3.5m project – which will create 134 construction jobs and 100 permanent roles – has been beset by planning delays, with a target to welcome its first students by this year missed.

However, the Moylish-based college has contracted multi-national engineering form Aecom to outline a series of measures it will introduce should it receive planning permission to transform the derelict building next to Tesco.

This comes in response to a request from the City and County Council for further information on the scheme.

After the council raised concerns over hundreds of students crossing Tesco’s car park, the college is proposing to construct a new three-metre wide “pedestrian and cyclist shared surface” along the southern end of the Tesco site.

This, LIT says, will provide “direct access to the proposed campus without the need to traverse the Tesco car park”.

High-quality lighting is also being proposed along the route.

At the northside of Coonagh Cross, the college has indicated it is willing to provide a signalised pedestrian crossing. As well as this, improvement works are proposed for the Ferndale estate access road, in the form of a pedestrian crossing, and upgrades to the existing pedestrian crossing adjacent to the Coonagh Cross park.

At present, parking is free at the Tesco car park to shoppers there – but the college has indicated that some new parking control measures may be necessary.

LIT is also in talks with Bus Eireann and private transport providers to provide more bus access to Coonagh Cross, after council planners expressed concerns at how so many students without cars will get to the planned campus.

At present, only one bus an hour – the airport bus 343 to Shannon – serves the site.

While LIT would not carry out the extra works itself, it would fund the council to provide these.

The college declined to comment.