CITY Hall may formalise plans to regenerate North Main Street as part of the City Development Plan.
Traders in the area have suffered setbacks in recent months with dereliction and vacancy becoming an increasing issue despite a number of long-established businesses continuing to thrive on the street.
On June 20, a partial building collapse took place at one of the street's properties with internal floors and rear walls coming down. Hoarding was erected around the affected properties and the street was closed to through vehicular traffic for just under five weeks.
Some traders on the street had complained that business was 50% down during the closure.
Councillor Joe Kavanagh asked that the council would put in place a strategic plan for the regeneration and development of North Main Street and surrounding areas to enhance its commercial offer while retaining the historical heritage of the area and enhancing the area’s attractiveness as a place to live.
City Hall director of economic development and strategic planning Fearghal Reidy said a number of different reports, strategies and plans may be formalised as part of the City Development Plan which will be reviewed early next year.
“While not collated in a single document, a broad strategy to progress the regeneration and development of North Main Street and surrounding areas is in place and may be formalised following the review of the Development Plan in 2020.
“This strategy builds on analysis and proposed actions set out in the original Historic Centre Action Plan (1994), the City Centre Strategy (2014), the UCC North Main Street Planning Study (2016), and the City Centre Action Plan (ongoing). It is acknowledged that the commercial base of the area, its heritage, and residential amenity are key factors. Cork City Council will continue to progress actions in these areas as well as support the initiatives generated by the community,” Mr Reidy added.
The North Main Street Traders Group, in conjunction with students of UCC Centre of Planning Education and Research, developed a report on planning for the future of the street in 2016.
It called for a clear vision for the regeneration of North Main Street, through the creation of an open space strategy, encouragement of the area as a neighbourhood and also identified five sites on the street that should be subject to development briefs.
These are the Dunnes Stores unit in the shopping centre, the former Munster furniture site, the Loft Furniture Store, Paradise Place and Liberty Street and Mannix’s Corner on Washington Street.