RGDATA has cautiously welcomed the Government’s recently announced initiative to help stop the decline of town and village centres in Ireland but says that a significant investment in housing is still needed.
While the €30 million initiative will help improve the situation in some towns and villages, RGDATA warns that town regeneration will need much more co-ordinated government intervention than one that it says, is ‘fundamentally aimed at making towns look prettier’.
“RGDATA is concerned that the measures announced today are really only tinkering with the symptoms of a significant problem and challenge that face communities across Ireland,” RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley commented.
The group, which represents independent retailers, says the Government needs to recognise that the most important contributor to town regeneration is having living communities in these areas.
While there is currently a shortage of housing in Ireland, RGDATA says there is ample space in towns and villages, which with the right investment, can help rebuild resident populations.
On the topic of regeneration, Buckley added, “The Government needs to examine the role of local authorities in this area, particularly given that many of the planning decisions and parking policies of local authorities have been significant contributors to town centre dereliction in Ireland.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.