IT has taken five and a half years and well over €100m but Limerick regeneration is set to mark a major milestone with the first residents shortly due to move into newly built homes in Moyross.
They are this week completing a ‘pre-residence’ course in advance of receiving the keys to their new homes early next week. The new residents, who come from a variety of backgrounds and are aged from their 20s to their 80s include a combination of local authority tenants and private home owners.
Ahead of the handing over of the keys, the finishing touches are being put on the 34-unit development in Cliona Park which has cost €4.6m to build.
The regeneration project has come in for criticism due to the perceived lack of progress, despite over €100 million being spent since it was set up in mid-2007.
In that time, more than 900 houses have been demolished across the city and over 1,000 people moved out of the regeneration areas.
However, the lack of new houses being built has led to discontent among many residents and, therefore, the completion of the Cliona Park development is a major milestone.
James Keane, 53, and his wife, Nora, 54, who have been living in Pineview Gardens for the past 23 years will move into one of the new houses in exchange for their current home. “It is a big change for us but I am looking forward to it because I never wanted to leave Moyross. I believe Moyross has the best facilites of all the estates and I have loved Moyross from day one and the new house will give us a great opportunity,” he said.
Brian Geaney, senior executive officer at the Office of Regeneration says the completion of the development is hugely significant.
“This is a really proud moment for everyone involved with the Regeneration programme and is a particularly exciting time for the residents who will live in this new development,” he said acknowledging the delays have frustrating for everyone involved.
“It has been a lot longer coming than was first envisaged but now that the work on the building element of the overall programme has begun, it will accelerate from here. A number of projects are already underway across the city and we will see significant advancement made on the construction side of the programme from here,” he added.
However, before they move into their new homes, the residents must complete the pre-residency course which is intended to provide them with all the information they need about their new home, give them information about their tenancy and introduce them to their new neighbours.
One of the oldest members of the new community will be 79-year-old James Kelly who currently lives in a bungalow in the shadow of the new developments
“It is fantastic because where I’m living at the moment I’ve been looking into the yard of the new apartments for the past year-and-a-half and I’ve had no view whatsoever so I’m looking forward to getting out of it and seeing the countryside,” he said.
Each of the new houses and apartments at Cliona Park are equipped to the highest standards and include hi-tech heating and security systems.