AN estimated 150 people attended a meeting in Bantry on Tuesday night to discuss the completion of an €8.5m project and the need for a new plan for the inner harbour.
The €8.5m is being invested in extending the town’s main pier, providing a new 100-space quayside car park, developing a 30-berth marina, and creating a one-acre amenity site near the old Railway Pier out of reclaimed materials.
It is expected that the work – which is being carried out by BAM – will be completed in June. In the meantime, four proactive local organisations – Bantry Business Association, Bantry Chamber of Commerce, Bantry Tidy Towns and the Bantry Development and Tourism Association – held a public meeting at the Maritime Hotel on Tuesday night to kick-start phase two.
They have named the new initiative Operation Slob Transformation (OST) because there is no getting away from the fact that the 10-acre site immediately adjacent to the town square is a bit of a wasteland at low tide.
Tim Coakley, one of the co-ordinators of the OST initiative, confirmed that there is a total of 130,000 cubic metres of silt that needs to be treated and dredged at a cost of €9m.
Tim said: ‘The meeting is a genuine attempt to invite everyone in the community to get involved and have their say. We want an attractive centre for the town that delivers real benefit to the community and enhances visitor experience.’
An estimated 150 people attended the meeting and responded to Tim’s request for ideas that are ‘practical, affordable and implementable.’ Gathered in groups of ten or more, the people of Bantry brainstormed and wrote their ideas down. They then pasted them on notice boards to be viewed by all. And they agreed to return to the next public meeting at the Maritime Hotel on Monday, March 6th next.
Anyone who could not attend the meeting but would still like to share their ideas with others can email: [email protected]