Minster of State for Local Government and Electoral reform has said that planning decisions made by Waterford City and County Councilors and Officials during the recession “destroyed” the city centre.
Speaking to Eamon in response to comments made by Waterford Senator Paudie Coffey in the Munster Express calling on the Kilkenny Minister to “avoid petty political rows about county Jerseys,” he said:
“The amount of people in my estate who are Waterford people, who say to me that we don’t want to be part of Waterford council, because look what happened to Waterford City in the last number of years.”
Deputy Phelan said it was only in that last year or so Waterford has started to come out of recession because of the planning decisions that were made on the outskirts of Waterford City as regards, “out of town centres that “destroyed the city centre.”
In a statement released to the Munster Express Senator Coffey was critical of the Kilkenny TD after he recently put into action plans for expanding Cork City Council into territory manned by the County Council, while also being involved in merging both City and County local authorities in Galway.
“He must understand the growth needs of cities, including Waterford. Given his expressed opposition to a boundary extension, he now needs to bring forward alternative proposals to allow Waterford City to expand and reach its full potential,” said the Waterford Senator.
Minister Phelan who is “absolutely” committed to the development of Waterford City believes that people from Ferrybank and Waterford at Offical or Councilor level need to sit down and produce a “giant” plan together which say we want residential here, retail here and industrial here, rather than looking at it as different parts.
He says the decision of not extending the border when Simon Coveney was Minister and Senator Paudie Coffey was Junior Minister is done.
“That decision is done and we can spend our time crying over what happened before or we can say right, how do we make this decision work.
Listen to Deputy Phelan’s interview with Eamon below concerning the Waterford and Kilkenny border.