University of Limerick declines opportunity to feed into Local Area Plan

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

'Disconnect’: Mayor James Collins

'Disconnect’: Mayor James Collins

SURPRISE has been expressed that the University of Limerick did not take up the opportunity to contribute to a local area plan being drawn up for Castletroy.

UL, which has a student population of almost 12,000 – many thousands of whom live in the local area – did not respond to a call from council bosses to provide feedback to the plan, which will provide a blueprint for Castletroy’s development in the future.

This is in spite of the fact the college is one of the area’s largest employers, and most significant activity centres.

Mayor James Collins, who sits on the UL governing authority, said he was surprised they did not contribute, pointing out the college also did not make a submission on the proposals for the Northern Distributor Road, which it is hoped will significantly ease the pressure on the road network around campus.

“There are issues which affect UL in terms of housing, transport. We spoke about lands zoned for education, and one of the main questions we were asked was whether there is anything we can really do in the Castletroy local area plan for transport.

“When you think of the university and the issues they are having with traffic and the big push for planning for the Northern Distributor Road. One of the major issues people were having is housing for students to live in. There is an accommodation crisis.”

”But also, we would like to link the university to the city. The transport links between Castletroy and the city centre are not what they need to be,” Cllr Collins added.

He said he did not know why UL did not make a submission.

“But we are well aware of their concerns, we raised them at the meeting, and in terms of transport, we were told it is not part of the Castletroy Local Area Plan. There seems to be a disconnect,” the mayor said.

Although UL management did not submit, lecturer Dr Geraldine Mooney Simmie fed back to the plan, as did student union president Ciara Jo Hannon.