#greystones – Sisk builders announced yesterday that it has agreed with its partners Park Developments and their bankers NAMA that Sisk will take ownership and control of the County Wicklow project. Originally developed in partnership, the substantial structure of the breakwaters and harbour has been completed and part opened to the public recently. The land side of the development has stalled with the financial crisis and with NAMA's involvement. Slipways are in place but long awaited marina furniture has yet to be installed in the new harbour.
'I am very pleased that Sisk have taken control as they are financially very stable, have been around for a century, take a long term view and are knowledgeable on marine affairs. NAMA are a bureaucratic organisation not suited to moving this imaginative project forward' Greystones Councillor and sailor Derek Mitchell said last night.
Parts of the harbour are now open including the best public boat launching facilities in Ireland (2 public slipways reaching to below low water) and compounds have been given to 5 Community organisations (Sea Scouts, Rowers, Sailors, Divers and Anglers). The South Breakwater and the car park are also open. Already this is one of the best water sport facilities in Ireland. The uncompleted area towards Bray Head is currently being grassed and it is hoped to open the marina in 2013. The latter is held up by threatened legal action over a commercial matter.
The Project is a public private partnership between Sispar and Wicklow County Council which when completed will consist of a new harbour, a marina, public areas including landscaped park and public square, a new primary care centre, retail space, club houses and boat storage, public slipways, a dedicated coastguard slipway, a site for a coastguard building and high quality residential development.
The company has recently carried out a series of works to improve public access to and enjoyment of the harbour area. This includes providing public access to the south breakwater; extensive launch facilities for use by the coastguard, clubs and sailing community; green amenity areas; and car park space.
The hoardings around the harbour area and on the North Beach Road have been removed and palisade fencing along a large section of the cliff walk has been replaced with more attractive fencing in order to enhance the appearance of the walk. Sispar have recently commenced grassing over the site area thus fully responding to the community's concerns over the appearance of the site.
"We have invested close to €75million in the Project so far and are totally committed to seeing it through" said a spokesperson for Sispar, "the economics of the development have been significantly affected by the economic downturn. However, the major harbour works are completed and there is now public access to the harbour. The remainder of the project can progress once critical decisions on funding and planning are taken and there is a recovery in the Irish economy".
NAMA, the SISK Group and Park Developments have reached an agreement which will result in the SISK Group acquiring Park's interest in the project and the taking on full responsibility for the Project. One outcome of this agreement is that there will no longer be any debt owed to NAMA by Sispar in relation to the project. Sispar is continuing to work with Wicklow County Council on delivery of the project on a phased basis.
Sispar is also currently engaging with all relevant stakeholders to the Project in order to finalise issues arising out of this agreement.