'We are very much in the dark': Traders vent frustration as North Main Street saga continues with the erection of new hoarding

'We are very much in the dark': Traders vent frustration as North Main Street saga continues with the erection of new hoarding
Hoarding being erected around the site in North Main Street on Wednesday. Works continue to stabilise buildings in the area following a partial collapse last week.

NEW hoarding was erected around three listed sites on North Main Street today as works continue to secure properties following a partial building collapse last month.

The erection of new hoarding has fuelled concerns that the situation will not be resolved soon, as traders and a number of city councillors say they are 'in the dark' on the latest developments.

North Main Street has been closed to motorists following the partial collapse of number 63 last month. One engineer's report had recommended demolition of the building which would include numbers 62 and 64 but this has been challenged by a trader occupying a business unit at number 62.

City Hall has said the main priority is to ensure public safety and has called on the property owners to stabilise the buildings.

The scene at North Main Street following the partial building collapseCredit: Damian Coleman.
The scene at North Main Street following the partial building collapseCredit: Damian Coleman.

However, no definitive timeline on restrictions to traffic can be set until works progress further. No through traffic is currently allowed but access remains open for deliveries and pedestrians.

Patrick Leader, of Leader Menswear, said the traffic restrictions have led to a number of issues for businesses and must be resolved as quickly as possible. “Anyone who is not mobile enough feels like they can’t access the street. Some waste collection service providers haven’t been collecting to the best of my knowledge and we don’t want a situation where there is a build-up of waste because it is a commercial and residential street and other problems would arise from that,” said Mr Leader.

“It is hitting footfall. We were originally of the belief it would take two weeks but at the moment we are very much in the dark. We want to emphasise that there is full pedestrian access to the street but people need access by car as well,” Mr Leader added.

The buildings are registered on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage and Dave and Bryan O’Connor are listed on Cork City Council’s derelict sites register as the owners of the buildings at 62, 63, and 64.

The Echo understands the owners now have investors in place and are pursuing a possible rebuild of the three buildings subject to a planning application. A decision was taken to close the Diesel clothing store at number 61 on Wednesday on public safety grounds.

A Cork City Council spokesperson said it is working with the owners and will review options with them as work continues.

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