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Council May Offer Best Chance For Renewal of Harbour Road – Cllr Joan Hopkins

While the DART end of Harbour Road offers pubs, takeaways and Howth Market, the East Pier end has a range of retail offerings, cafes and coffee, but in the middle is the great divide of vacant sites, including The Waterside, the former Paddy Power bookies and the site of what was once Porto Fino’s restaurant.

Now, all carry “for sale” and/or “to let” signs. Indeed , so long are these signs hanging that even the signs look forlorn and in these darker months the area has a ghostly air for the passersby. 

For Social Democrats Councillor, Joan Hopkins, the lack of progress has been a source of frustration and puzzlement. “I don’t know why they’re not getting offers” she muses. For Hopkins, a community centre is a priority for Howth, which is something local groups have also flagged as being largely absent from the peninsula.

What Cllr Hopkins wants to see is if it is now feasible for Fingal County Council to get involved, as in cases where a property does not sell for valid commercial reasons, the council may be the answer.  “The council has a significant fund from the central government for this and there may be a way for Fingal to help bring such buildings back to life.”

With potential access to the Urban Regeneration Development Fund of €7 million, specifically set up for local government to acquire, renovate and repurpose derelict buildings, this option may prove the best means to renew a once thriving area of Howth and to breathe much needed life into the heart of the village.

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