STABILISATION works on properties on North Main St will begin tomorrow, with traders likely to hold another event on Saturday to entice the public to shop there.
In an attempt to correct what City Council has called “misinformation in circulation”, a report has been delivered to councillors addressing issues following the partial collapse of the privately owned number 62 North Main St on June 20, with the internal floors and most of the rear wall coming down.
Mr Joyce said the local authority has been in constant contact with the owners and an “acceptable” programme of works for stabilising numbers 62, 63, and 64 have now been agreed.
However, no timeframe can be yet be given on when North Main St will be fully reopened to vehicular traffic with the “full picture” of the stability of the structures yet to be determined.
Work will now begin to stabilise the facade of number 63 and suitable site hoarding will be put in place. Parts of 62 and 64 also need to be stabilised to eliminate the risk of collapse as works to number 63 progress.
City Hall director of services David Joyce said hoarding erected around the buildings are “more robust” than fencing and have been put in place to protect the public and not to hide what is happening on the site.
He added that City Hall is doing everything in its power to protect the building heritage and streetscape of North Main St.
“No decision has yet been made that the buildings have to be demolished. The situation is under constant review. Options for going forward will become clearer as the stabilisation process progresses,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce also addressed calls from traders to reopen the street to vehicular traffic.
“Given the onsite uncertainties, it is not possible to give precise timeframes for the stabilisation works to be completed at this stage. However every effort is being made to identify and publish inductive timescales. We are very conscious that the opening of the street to traffic is of key concern to the traders on the street and are working to deliver this as soon as possible in a safe manner,” he added.
Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) said the council has unfairly taken the majority of blame for the issues with dereliction on North Main St.
“We’re not the landlord, we’re not the people that have left the building fall into disrepair. People with private buildings must take care of them.”
Paudie Dineen (IND) said the message needs to go out that the street is “open for business”, but Thomas Gould (SF) said the state of some properties on the street are a “living disgrace”.
“For 10 years I’ve asked the council to compulsory purchase derelict properties,” he said. “If someone had been in the building and had been killed, there would have been uproar. We have 101 derelict properties and another 10 to come on the register, we should have been doing this for years.”
Mr Joyce said the council will work with traders to organise a public event on North Main St this Saturday.
“It’s important we get the message out there, along with the traders, that the street is open for business,” he added.