North Quays developers looking for Government cash commitment before end of month, TD claims
The €500m Waterford City North Quays Development could be in jeopardy if Government funding is not forthcoming by the end of the month.
General Election candidate and outgoing Sinn Fein TD, David Cullinane is calling for “patience” as this opportunity is too valuable to Waterford to be undone by deadlines and the uncertainty the upcoming election brings.
Speaking to WaterfordNow.ie, Deputy Cullinane told us he has been contacted by a person working closely with the developers, Falcon Real Estate Development, part of the Fawaz Alhokair Group and there is an urgency by the developers to get the project moving.
“The developers want to see funding approved on behalf of the Government by the end of the month,” Deputy Cullinane said.
“This project now is about two years old. There were clear commitments given by Waterford City and County Council that it would be able to get the Government in a position to deliver on the asks that were made of the state.
“These three key elements were moving the train station, the pedestrian bridge and access works. There was a contract, an agreement between the council and the developers, and that contract is contingent on the state coming up with the money.
“The difficulty is no certainty has been provided in relation to funding. While there is goodwill and good sentiment towards the project from the government, and the council has received letters of comfort from the government that they will put in place multi-annual budgeting towards it – there are still no core figures.”
“I have been informed that in that contract there is a date at the end of January whereby if there are no firm commitments there is the potential for the developers to walk away.
“I have contacted the council and although they would not go into the terms of the contract, they have told me the developers are looking for greater certainty.”
Falcon lodged their planning application for the project last month and if approved would see the creation of a 15-storey hotel and conference centre, two seven-storey office blocks, 300 apartments across five buildings ranging in height from seven to 17 stories. A shopping centre on Michael St would also be built under the plans.
Deputy Cullinane is calling for “patience” as nothing will be done between now and the general election next month, and not until a new Government is in place.
“I am calling for, and it is a difficult thing when we’re speaking about projects of this scale, but we need patience.
“There is not going to be an announcement on funding between now and the upcoming election and it is going to be over to a new Government then.
“We need the council, the department and the developers to work closely together to keep the project on track and to make sure there aren’t any decisions taken that could be detrimental to the project,” Deputy Cullinane concluded.
It is hoped, all things being in place, construction will on the NQD get underway towards the end of this year.