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Kildare Nationalist 26th October 2007
 Friday 26th October 2007 12:00am



 
The centre of Athy will be changed forever if a proposed multi-million euros development is given the green light. Kilkenny based development company Raggett Construction is seeking permission for a mixed-use retail, office space and residential development in the town centre.
 
The site for this significant redevelopment is at the rear of Leinster Street, which is currently an under-utilised ‘brown field’ site. Developer Michael Raggett of Raggett Construction Ltd declared that: “One cannot overstate how exciting this new development will be for the town of Athy. It is envisaged that the development will ignite the town centre and will go a long way towards combating the current expenditure leakages to surrounding towns that is being experienced.”
 
Noting that the history of new retail development in Athy has lagged significantly behind that of other towns within the country, Mr Raggett said the new proposed Leinster Street development will “afford Athy the opportunity for positive regeneration of the town centre as a whole and will breathe a whole new realm of life and activity into the town centre.” He said it will also restore the town to a position it occupied as a leading shopping town when people travelled from all surrounding areas.
 
Mr Raggett is particularly positive about the employment opportunities that the new development will create. He said it is envisaged the development will locally create 240 jobs both during the short to medium term construction period, while in the longer term it is expected that the centre will provide approximately 180 jobs.
 
The proposed development consists of approximately 6,500 square metres of retail space and associated management office space, 440 square metres of office, 80 apartments, seven duplex units and a multi-storey car park that will provide for parking for the proposed development and additional car parking service the existing town centre.
 
According to Mr Raggett, the proposed delivery of a through access road by Raggett Construction will aim to alleviate some of the traffic congestion currently affecting the South Kildare town.
 
Partner and architect with Fewer, Harrington, Lawlor and Partners, Niall Harrington said that this is a key site and a key opportunity for the overall rejuvenation of Athy town centre, particularly in light of the fact that the site is so close to key public spaces such as the existing town centre, the People’s Park and public transport.
 
Athy Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the development. Subject to the development receiving full planning permission from Athy Town Council, Mr Raggett confirmed that work will begin immediately, with the scheme scheduled for completion in 2010.
 


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