Greystones harbour hoardings could be down by summer


THE REBUILT Greystones harbour in Co Wicklow may be reopened to the public with the removal of the hoardings by mid-summer.

Work on the marine elements of the €300 million harbour area redevelopment project is substantially finished, while a business plan for the completion of the work is to be finalised within weeks.

The business plan is to be submitted to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) which has taken over responsibility for financing the project.

Elements yet to be developed include new clubhouses for harbour users, a medical centre, 375 new homes, a new town square, commercial facilities, a new beach and a public park.

Development consortium Sispar, a collaboration of John Sisk and Co and Park Developments, hopes to have a decision on funding by April. A spokesman for Sispar yesterday said the next phase of development which Nama would be asked to fund would include the medical centre and the clubhouses. However the spokesman said should Nama refuse to provide project finance, there were enough works completed for the hoardings around the town end of the harbour area to come down.

Sispar said it would work with the local authority and community to landscape the new areas and open up the southern end of the harbour. The spokesman said if the Nama decision was positive, the local community might not mind waiting “a bit longer” until the clubhouses were built.

Wicklow County Council chairman Tom Fortune, who met the consortium in recent days, said he was optimistic the hoardings around the harbour would come down, “in part at least”, in 2011. Mr Fortune said he had pressed Sispar for some timescale.

“In response, the developers confirmed they believe they will receive funding from Nama for the next phase of the development. If this work commences, then the hoardings, from the south end of the harbour up to a point near the harbour café, will be removed hopefully as early as June 2011,” he said.