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Cork City Council is planning to totally revamp Bishop Lucey Park, removing the walls and gates to turn it from a traditional park into a city plaza. Picture: Denis Scannell
DENIS SCANNELL
Cork City Council is planning to totally revamp Bishop Lucey Park, removing the walls and gates to turn it from a traditional park into a city plaza. Picture: Denis Scannell
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Proposal to remove walls and railings from Bishop Lucey Park

CITY Hall is to unveil plans to revamp Bishop Lucey Park in the coming months.

The park, which opened in 1985, could be reimagined as a wide-open city plaza, with the walls and gates removed.

Extra public lighting and CCTV cameras would be added to enhance safety on the new plaza, which would be envisioned as a key access route between Grand Parade and the South Mall for pedestrians.

Officials at the city's parks department are currently in the process of drawing up plans to revamp the enclosed city park, which has become a magnet for antisocial behaviour in recent years.

It is understood that they are keen to make the park a more open space in anticipation of the construction of the event centre, offices and student apartments nearby.

David Joyce, Director of Environment Services at City Hall, said that discussions are taking place to see what could be done with the park.

"It is quite a large space and it is under-utilised at present," he said.

"It is a traditional type of city park; it is walled, enclosed and locked in the evening, limiting access. There are conversations about how we might reinvigorate that, how we might transform it into a modern urban space."

It is expected that plans for a redesigned park will be published in April or May of this year, with Cork City Council expected to submit a planning application for the work at this time also.

However, there is currently no funding in place for the project.

Mr Joyce said, "If the plans are approved, we will then seek funding.

There is no funding currently in place but we have always been proactive when it comes to these things in Cork city. We won't sit on our laurels and wait for a funding stream to come in place before designing a plan.

"Instead, this plan will be designed and ready to go. It will be shovel-ready so that when funding comes on stream, we will be ready to go immediately."

Mr Joyce said he is confident that funding for such schemes will be made available.

Final designs have yet to be agreed, with city officials still in discussion about how to proceed with the works.

Mr Joyce said, "There are a number of different concepts being discussed, with one of these including the removal of the walls and gates and the addition of lights and CCTV to make it an open plaza.

"With the event centre and student apartments being constructed nearby, there could be a lot of people passing through the area and this could be a key access route."