Following devastating news of the closure of Supervalu in Carlow town, Green Party Environment Spokesperson Cllr Malcolm Noonan said that a radical plan for the regeneration of the town centre is required to address the impact of reckless out of town planning in the environs of the town. He contends that extending the ‘Living Cities’ initiative and developing a ‘Living above the shops’ scheme could incentivise people to move back to the town centre and help struggling businesses.
‘This is a devastating blow for the community of workers at Supervalu. It is ironic that with all of the out of town retail in Carlow that it is the locally owned supermarket that takes the hit’ said Cllr Noonan ‘The reality is that Carlow has suffered unduly from really bad retail planning where large out of town centres were allowed to develop completely disproportionate to the population of the town. Added to this are thousands of free flat surface car parking spaces and we have a situation where the very heart has been ripped out of the lovely town centre’.
Cllr Noonan is calling on Carlow County Council to engage with Chamber of Commerce, local town centre retailers and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan for the regeneration of the Town centre. He cited a recent report launched by the Heritage Council as a possible roadmap for that regeneration.
‘It is my view that the people of Carlow have been badly served by poor planning in Carlow. But there are ways in which these trends can be reversed or at least stalled. The closure of Supervalu should serve as a stark warning that there is no room for complacency and an action plan is now urgently required’ he concluded