21 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A question daubed by an enquiring street artist on the hoarding surrounding the site of the stalled mixed use development in the centre of Monaghan Town – “What shall we do with the hole in the ground?’ – was addressed by the members of Monaghan Town Council on Monday night.
Although no reference was made to the graffiti that has recently appeared on the surrounds of the site, the issue of the development’s future was raised by Independent councillor Seamus Treanor.
Colr Treanor said that some work seemed to have started at the site, but then stalled. Very little work had been done there in recent times.
Town Manager David Fallon said that the Town Council had corresponded very recently with Clarkes on the matter. Clarkes were engaging in liaison with the planning sections of Monaghan Co Council and Monaghan Town Council, and also had to get their bank consents in order.
Referring to a number of matters that were under consideration, Mr Fallon said the Council had put a number of questions to the developers last week and were waiting for them to respond. Matters were progressing, but it was quite slow.
When Colr Treanor asked if the bond which the Town Council had in relation to the development was “watertight”, the Manager expressed the belief that it was.
When Colr Treanor enquired if the Council could draw down the bond if the developers didn’t proceed with the works, the Manager said it might not come to that. If Clarkes proceeded to carry out the work, they would be doing what they were required to do.
Cathaoirleach Robbie Gallagher asked if there was a timeframe commitment from Clarkes on filling the site back in and restoring the car-parking spaces that had originally been there.
Mr Fallon said Clarkes were liaising with the planning section on this matter. To revert to the car-park would constitute a change of use and Clarkes were in discussion with the planners on this matter at present.
David Maxwell thought the message should go out from the meeting that this would not happen in months but could take a year.
Colr Treanor expressed the view that the work should not take that long. It would be different if the developers were rebuilding again.
Colr Maxwell said the planning process could take eight-twelve weeks.
The Manager noted that an Environmental Impact Assessment might also be required, which would take some time. The filling in of the site would also take some time.

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