Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fianna Fáil and Developers

Before he is even elected I see a local Fianna Fáil candidate Gary Wyse is firmly aligning himself with developers. In todays Munster Express he has come out supporting the Marks & Spencer development on the Airport Road as "part of the solution" to the city centre.

Now even if you ignore previous unholy alliances between developers and Fianna Fáil, surely when Mr Wyse has heard only one side of the arguement - i.e. the developers side - he is not in a position to make an informed judgement.

It is interesting to note that practically all of Mr Wyses' city centre retail colleagues are very much against the location of Marks & Spencers anywhere other than in the heart of the city. As are the Chamber of Commerce and their Retail committee.

Developers will promise us the earth, moon and stars. They will even lead you to believe that they want to 'support' Waterford and 'underpin' the primacy of the city centre. When what they are really interested in is maxmising their own profits. Politicians, you would have thought might - having been burned by this type of association before - have learned their lesson. The public has certainly learned this about developers and Fianna Fáil.

At the moment I remain unconvinced by the Marks & Spencer arguement - even with a 'food store' in the City Centre. Lets face it: fewer and fewer people go into the City Centre for food shopping any more. And would Mr Wyse be happy if the location of M&S in the suburbs, cost us, say Debenhams and/or Penneys in the heart of the City? I cannot accept that M&S would refuse
a city centre location on the never never promise of a site that is not zoned for their type of activity. Even if the site was re-zoned (which I can't see happening) I doubt it would get through An Bord Pleanála!

If they (Marks & Spencer) want to sell to Waterfords' large shopping population (and we DO want them here) then they can agree tomorrow - even today - to come to a properly zoned and ready to go, with full planning permission already received, large shopping mall, right in the heart of the city. That's a win for all of us.

As for Fianna Fáil? Perhaps they will never learn.


Anonymous said...

Typical attitude of many people in Waterford, you can come to our city but only on our terms. Do you not realise that in the current economic climate any potential investment in our city should be welcomed with open arms. At least Gary Wyse is putting his cards on the table and can see the potential spin off.

Marks & Spencer have proved that they will open in neighbouring towns should they not get their preferred location in other areas. eg. Clonmel.

To be honest Mary I did not expect a reaction like this from you as I always held the view that you , unlike some other councillors, were progressive and forward thinking.

Many parties and candidates are saying that this election is about "jobs,jobs,jobs". Here we have the potential to attract some and already there is a negative vibe been created.


John-City East Voter.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see at least one city councillor has some sense about this issue. M&S belong in city centre.

John-City East Voter, do you think Waterford should just bend over and do whatever M&S want? Why shouldn't they have to locate in Waterford on our terms? It's our city, not there's! Do you think Cork or Dublin would accept the same sort of blackmail from M&S? By the way, M&S are based in Cork & Dublin city centres so why not ours too?