Castleblayney Market House & Market Square Public Engagement Report - Miriam
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Castleblayney Market House & Market Square Public Engagement Report Miriam Tara Orla April 2021 with Delaney Kennedy Murphy
Contents / Executive Summary 3 / Background 1. Aims of the Report 5 2. History of the Building 6 3. Recent attempts to revive the Market House 6 4. Current Condition 6 5. Monaghan Co Co Funding Strategy 7 6. Who we are 10 / Shared Vision 7. Methodology of Engagement 12 8. Phasing of Project 12 9. Workshops 12 10. Conversations 13 11. Survey 13 12. Dissemination of Engagement 13 13. Survey Overview 14 13.1 Vision for the Market House 13.2 What is the Situation Like Now 13.3 Action 14. Shared Vision 21 / Design Strategy 15. Priorities Informing Design Strategy 23 16. Scenarios for Renovation 33 17. Suggested Programme 34 18. Business Model 51 19. Sustainable Design 51 20. Phasing of Project 51 21. Long Term Management 52 22. Funding of Project 52 23. Conclusion 54 References and Supporting Documentation: 55 Report produced by AP+E, Miriam Delaney, Tara Kennedy & Orla Murphy. Cover image by Magnaparte, courtesy of Free Market. Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 2.
Executive Summary ‘The importance of the restoration ‘..a blended approach has been identified as preferable to a single use building. of the Market House to the future This allows multiple targets to be met, development of Castleblayney cannot public access and community functions, be emphasised enough.’ with the financial benefit of stable income from let-able commercial and office spaces.‘ Quote taken from survey responses The Market House in Castleblayney is the most significant building in the town, its vacancy and In this report the consultants evaluated a number of options for strategies in renovating the Market dereliction for more than 20 years have left a marked impact on Castleblayney, in terms of public House, the preferred option allows for some fully enclosed, insulated spaces for retail, cafe and pride and perception of the town, the relationship between residents and Monaghan Co. Co., and office spaces, as well as enclosed but unheated adaptable spaces for community and support the deterioration and vacancy levels in the surrounding streets. The restoration of the Market House functions. Flexibility is key in allowing for multiple uses and for the potential for some aspects of the and significant improvement to the public realm of the Market Square have the potential to be a programme to ‘grow into’ the building. transformative project for Castleblayney. The ‘Town Centres First’ approach included in the 2020 Programme for Government highlights the need for state bodies to take the lead in consolidating and In terms of programme, a blended approach has been identified as preferable to a single use supporting town centres. Monaghan Co. Co. has engaged in significant investments in Castleblayney in building. This allows multiple targets to be met, public access and community functions, with the recent years - the restoration of Gate Lodge 1, Gate Lodge 2 as a Public Library and the Enterprise Hub financial benefit of stable income from let-able commercial and office spaces. A mix of programmes - which demonstrate the Local Authority’s commitment to the town. The restoration and development also allows for greater flexibility in allowing community and enterprise elements to ‘grow into’ the of the Market House is a critical piece of the built fabric of the town, it will build on the success of the building. restored Gate Lodge and the forthcoming library project at the eastern end of the town to create a social and civic hub for Castleblayney. The report identifies key funding streams that could be accessed by the Local Authority in delivering this project, highlighting how it meets multiple objectives in a range of funding schemes. We suggest An in-depth public engagement programme, including community workshops, an on-line survey a long-term commitment to the regeneration and management of the Market House by Monaghan and focussed meetings with key stakeholders identified the following immediate priorities for a Co. Co. and propose a collaborative approach to the on-going management of the building between redeveloped Market House: public access and community use, as well as spaces for people to gather, Monaghan Co. Co. and local community groups. and the provision of employment opportunities. Residents in the town and community groups also highlighted the significance of the heritage of the Market House, and expressed a desire for high quality A redeveloped Market House and a redesigned Market Square presents a architectural and conservation interventions, a model of best practice. unique and exciting opportunity to consolidate and support the town centre of Castleblayney. It should be of the highest architectural and conservation 85% The public realm was also noted in the public engagement process as a key priority, the strategies standards, and be a model of sustainable construction and adaptive re-use proposed by the consultants in this report support the development of the Market Square as a place principles. We see the potential of this project to be a catalyst for economic and for Castleblayney residents to meet and gather, with the potential for outdoor events, festivals and social life in the town, and a worthy source of pride for Castleblayney residents. markets. A redesigned high-quality public realm would bring another layer of positive development in The vision presented here for a regenerated Market House and Market Square is of people the town, prioritising pedestrian access and allowing for ease of mobility through Castleblayney. one to sustain the building’s significance for centuries to come. fully support the project Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 3.
1. Aims of the Report This report was commissioned by Monaghan Co. Co. to ‘prepare and deliver a report to identify potential appropriate future uses of the Market House building and Market Square area of Castleblayney’ (1). The project brief developed by Monaghan Co. Co. specified community engagement as a critical component in the development of viable long term uses for the Market House and Market Square area of the town: ‘The report will include an assessment and recommendations of potential uses, reflecting the input from the community and stakeholder consultation and participatory engagement exercise, with a people- centred approach, and an assessment of the financial self-sustainability of potential uses, and allow for flexibility of uses/spaces, that will safeguard the future of this iconic building and public square for many more generations. Any assessments will have regard to the economic, social and environmental impact on the regeneration and resilience of Castleblayney and the contribution to the promotion of Castleblayney as an attractive location to live, visit and do business in.’(2) A consultant team led by AP+E in collaboration with Miriam Delaney, Tara Kennedy and Orla Murphy was awarded the contract on 3rd of December 2020. They proposed, and have completed a three-stage process in preparation of this report: Step 1: Initial research, listening and gathering input. Step 2: Analysing and translating information, in dialogue with stakeholders. Step 3: Presenting and disseminating the report. The primary aims of this report are to: 1 - Describe the history and current status of the Market House and Market Square, Castleblayney. 2-O utline the community and stakeholder engagement undertaken and the results and feedback from that process. 3-E stablish key community-led priorities for the redevelopment of the Market House and Market Square. 4-D escribe and evaluate potential uses for a redeveloped Market House and Market Square. 5-P ropose and develop a preferred option for the development of the Market House and Market Square. 6-O utline a viable business model and highlight funding options open to the redevelopment project to ensure a financially viable, long term sustainable future for the Market House and Market Square. (1) ‘Request for Quotation’ document, issued by Monaghan Co Co on October 1st 2020 Current State of the Market House, Northern Standard, August 2019 (2) ‘Request for Quotation’ document, issued by Monaghan Co Co on October 1st 2020 (Chapter Page) Image of Castleblayney from the Lawrence Collection NLI, 1870-1905 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 5.
The intention is that Monaghan Co.Co. use this report in developing a brief to appoint a design team soon to preserve them.’(6) to bring this project forward to Planning Application stage, and for use in further funding applications as the project progresses to realisation. The dereliction of the Market House is also a significant issue of public perception within the town, with strong feelings expressed through the public engagement process of the importance of the building to the town’s history and heritage, and also that dereliction in the town is seen as a key ‘Historic and really proud of it.’ 85% issue. One respondent noted the current condition of the Market House as ‘embarrassing, poor reflection of Quote taken from survey responses CITED our town’. According to another respondent it ‘brings a dilapidated look & feel to the whole town especially that high number of empty buildings side of town, depressing’ but also noted the historic significance of the Market House ‘Historic and as a negative issue in the town really proud of it’. 2. History of the Building When asked what are the negative issues/ current challenges in Castleblayney Town Centre now, 85% of people cited the high number of empty buildings. Castleblayney is the third largest town in county Monaghan with a population of 3,607 (CSO, 2016). It is a busy market town with a relatively static population in the 2006 - 2016 timeframe. It serves a rural hinterland, and functions as a civic, educational, retail and social hub for the rural catchment area. Castleblayney is categorised as a Tier 2 Strategic Town within the County Monaghan Se 3. Recent attempts to revive the Market House The Market House building was used as a market from 1801, before the current second level was The Market House in Castleblayney is a protected structure of national significance. It sits in the built on top to house the Court House in 1856. It was subsequently used as a Court House and local centre of the triangular Market Square on a steeply sloping site, leading to Main Street to the west, library, but was not maintained or repaired in recent decades. It was last occupied in the 1990s, Muckno Street to the north and to the entrance to Muckno Park and Hope Castle to the east. and since then has been vacant. Its decline has been exacerbated by damage to the building fabric allowing water ingress and the roof to collapse following the fall of an internal load bearing wall. The Market House, a two storey over basement building, was constructed in 1790 with significant Below is a timeline of the attempts to secure use and funding for the Market House over the last 30 additions in 1856 (4). It is arguably the most significant building within the town of Castleblayney, it years, initially to maintain its function as a Courthouse, and later to secure the building and halt its forms the termination of Main street and is a very prominent local landmark. decline: ‘In continuing to provide a vital focus in the urban centre, it is a building of quality and presence that 1994 - Engineer’s Estimate for four courthouses submitted to Department of Justice – Castleblayney contributes substantially to the unique character and identity of the town, contributing a sense of £226,000; Clones £35,000; Carrickmacross £31,000. Clones and Carrickmacross works approved by place while also representing a tangible and irreplaceable component of the town’s historic fabric. In Department, Castleblayney Court House was not. this respect it offers continuity with the past, representing a symbol of the civic authority of a shared 1995 - CD Ellison Preliminary Report estimates £810,000 refurbishment costs. Notes at this community that reflects various aspects of the town’s architectural, social and cultural history and stage indicated dry and wet rot throughout the building and decayed lintels on interior walls. The development.’ (5) Department of Justice meeting suggests abandoning the building. 1996 - Dept of Justice proposing to move to greenfield site - Fahy Fitzgerald Structural Engineers The Market House Castleblayney is of national importance, and was highlighted by An Taisce in 2020 report recommends “discontinuance of building use” in the interests of safety - proposal to redevelop as being one of the ‘Top 10 Most-at-Risk Buildings’ in Ireland. An Taisce’s annual report on their most as a County Museum rejected. at risk buildings noted that: 1997 - District and Circuit Court sessions moved to Hope Castle Hotel. Castleblayney Cultural Group seek grant to complete feasibility report for theatre/community use ‘These are all buildings of importance, both intrinsically and to the heritage of their local areas, 2001 - Carrickmacross Courthouse refurbished by Courts Service buildings that lie vacant and are in such a state of disrepair that they may be dangerous or have no 2006 - Council commission Peter Legge & Associates to Report estimates €2,500.000 refurbishment identifiable new use. These buildings could be lost to future generations unless direct action is taken costs: and sought sanction for loan from Department. (3) Monaghan County Development Plan 2019- 2025 (6) https://www.antaisce.org/reviewing-buildings-at-risk-2020 accessed: February 25th 2021 (4) The Market House description and appraisal in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (Record No. 41308026), prepared 1st October 2011 (5) 'Castleblayney Court House: Report on proposed repairs’, Liam Mulligan - Architects - Chartered Building Surveyors - Historic Building Consultants, February 2018 p.6 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 6.
2007 - Castleblayney Community Enterprise Ltd. obtain planning permission for proposal to house library, court services and town council offices. 2007 - County Manager wrote to Taoiseach’s office seeking funding. 2008 - Peter Legge & Associates Brief Report on Restoration, estimating costs of €5.5m; communicated to Court Service 2011 Market House Committee established: Alan Clarke & Associates, Gaffney & Cullivan & Cunningham & Associates and Martin Rafter commissioned by Castleblayney Community Enterprise Ltd. to provide initial appraisal and costings for renovation of Courthouse. Conservation, Structural & Costing Reports completed - Estimated costs for Phase 1 Leave Building Watertight & finish Floor- €1.871m – excluding VAT & conservation costs. 2012 - Partial Roof Collapse - National Building Agency complete Structural Engineers Report - FIirst Floorr estimated cost to secure Courthouse building walls – €193,000. Leader; Peace & Structures At Risk funding sought. 2014 - Housing Agency engaged to carry out options appraisal 1. Make building secure and watertight - €290,000 2. Demolish building and rebuild - €3,090,000 3. Demolish building and provide plaza - €730,000 4. Complete refurbishment of existing building as library and Council offices - €6,040,000 2015 - Quote from Contractor to remove debris and replace roof - €1.3m excluding VAT 2018 - Monaghan Co. Co. commission a Structural Report on Market House, and prepare application to RRD Fund. 2019 - Monaghan Co. Co. undertake works to secure and stabilise the exterior walls of the building and to remove debris and partially collapsed roof structure. Ground Floor 4. Current Condition The Market House had fallen into serious disrepair in recent years and in July 2019 Monaghan Co. Co. undertook work to remove what remained of the roof and to stabilize the external walls. A ‘Report on Inspection of Masonry Walls at Castleblayney Courthouse/ Market House’ was carried out by Alan Clarke & Associates in 2019, noting that the current external walls are structurally sound, but require regular monitoring. The building is currently roof-less, with internal floors largely missing, and exposure to weather resulting in on-going damage to the building fabric. The remaining extant walls are largely constructed of random rubble masonry with a lime mortar binder, ashlar stone is exposed externally at the basement level and used at corners and jamb details. Internal remaining walls are masonry, constructed from rubble stone. The attached survey drawings indicate the extent of the remaining structure. The restoration of the Market House and regeneration of the Market Square are highlighted as N Basement Floor priorities within the Monaghan County Development Plan 2019 - 25: 5m 10m Current condition survey plans Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 7.
'There are a number of key buildings in Castleblayney which act as important focal points at the entrances to the town. They strongly influence the perception of Castleblayney and are visual flagships for the quality of its built environment.' ‘The Old Courthouse (*The Market House) was once an impressive structure in the town and its visual prominence contributed greatly to the townscape character of Castleblayney. The structure has become derelict and as such requires extensive refurbishment and repair and it remains an objective of the local authority to address this.’ (7) In the Specific Objectives for Town Centre development in Castleblayney are CBO2: 'To encourage new developments which refurbish existing buildings in order to regenerate the town centre and to eliminate dereliction.' (8) The ‘Castleblayney Town Public Realm and Economic Plan, 2019’ states that: 'The key heritage building within the Town Centre is the Market House, which is not only a landmark but is intrinsically linked to the development of Castleblayney as a settlement. It warrants conservation as a physical representation of Castleblayney’s history and as a Protected Structure. Active use of this building will further ensure its conservation into the future.' (9) 5. Monaghan Co. Co. Funding Strategy Monaghan Co. Co. successfully received Government grant funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund in 2020, to prepare detailed design for the refurbishment of the Market House and Market Square public realm in Castleblayney. This report will be used in the preparation of tender documentation for the appointment of a design team to develop the proposals to Planning Permission stage. Monaghan Co. Co. will need to source further funding for the full refurbishment of the Market House and for improvements to the public realm of the Market Square. Potential sources of funding are highlighted in Section 22. (7) P.251 Monaghan County Development Plan 2019- 2025 Current condition photographs (8) P.252 Monaghan County Development Plan 2019- 2025 (9) Castleblayney Town Public Realm and Economic Plan, 2019’ P.17 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 8.
1 3 1 4 4 2 1 No pedestrian crossing to Big Tom statue 2 No through road required 3 Isolated traffic island 4 Excessive parking compromising footpaths Existing Public Realm layout Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 9.
6. Who we are This report is prepared by AP+E architects in consultation with Tara Kennedy, Miriam Delaney & Orla Murphy. It is an architect-led collaborative team with a track record in devising, engaging and delivering innovative projects, with distinct expertise in relation to small towns, community engagement, spatial analysis and adaptive re-use. The consultant team have experience in delivering community engagement programmes, master-planning and architectural design, and have on-going relationship to the town of Castleblayney through their ‘Free Market’ Irish national pavilion at the Venice architecture Biennale 2018 and subsequent national tour which travelled to Castleblayney in July 2019. Members of the team were also involved in the preparation of the ‘The Town Centre Living Initiative Six Pilot Towns: Synthesis Report’, 2020, on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development, in which Castleblayney was one of the six pilot towns. The team worked together to deliver Free Market, Ireland’s national pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, and its subsequent national tour and public engagement programme in 2019. Advocating for policy change, Free Market was presented to An Taoiseach and senior Governmental politicians and advisors, culminating with an invited presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development (November 2019), Free Market has won widespread critical acclaim, press, and awards. Both independently and collaboratively, the team share experience in listening and communicating design ideas to a broad range of audiences, including local voluntary groups, community activists, urban development committees, school pupils, inhabitants, and local businesses through stakeholder facilitation. Our experience in participatory design, stakeholder engagement, and communication with funding and political partners is combined with direct experience in developing architectural projects from strategic vision to construction both nationally and internationally. Team at launch of Free Market Exhibition in June 2019 Opening remarks at launch of Free Market Exhibition Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 10.
7. Methodology of Public Engagement Process The consultant team engaged for this project, proposed a phase 1 ‘Listening and gathering input’ of the Market House; for this project. The methodology employed was a series of one- to- one interviews with key Suggestions on building uses and programmes; stakeholders, community workshops with local community groups and an open on-line survey, Suggestions for financing and management models. open to all residents of Castleblayney (more detail on all of these approaches is included below). The team also met regularly with local political representatives and employees of Monaghan Co. Throughout the process we were in direct communication Co. The period of engagement was from December 2020 to February 2021. The intention of the with the following groups; public engagement process was to gather as many as possible opinions and inputs from residents Castleblayney Community Enterprise CLG of all ages, from community groups and from elected political representatives. Due to Covid 19 Castleblayney Regeneration restrictions, the majority of engagement was on-line, however on-site meetings were arranged with a Castleblayney Tidy Towns number of key stakeholders. Sustainable Energy Group Music Generation Muckno Mania 8. Phasing of Project Adult Education Services Castleblayney Heritage Group The project is a three-stage process: Castleblayney Credit Union Step 1: Initial research, listening and gathering input. Monaghan Integrated Development Ltd 7th December 2020 - 15th January 2021 Iontas Step 2: Analysing and translating information, in dialogue with stakeholders. Our Lady’s Secondary School 18th January - 19th February Step 3: Presenting and disseminating the report. 1st March - 26th March 9. Workshops All Community groups listed below were contacted directly by the consultancy team, and the on- line survey shared with them. Some of the groups expressed a preference to complete the survey individually, while other groups opted for an online workshop. Workshops were hosted on-line, via zoom, with the community groups highlighted below. In each of these the consultants made an initial presentation on the aims and objectives of the project and hosted a Q& A session with prompts from the assembled group. An open community workshop was held on Saturday the 9th of January 2021, which was advertised in local media and offered participants an opportunity to speak face- to face with the consultants. A number of very fruitful conversations occurred in these online workshops which highlighted significant issues relating to the redevelopment of the Market House and Market Square, including: Previous attempts to regenerate the Market House; Priorities for the Market House, the Market Square and the town of Castleblayney; Capacity - and willingness - to engage in the long term development and management Online Workshop with Castleblayney Regeneration Group, December 2020 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 12.
10. Conversations Individual phone conversations were conducted with the following departments and key personnel within Monaghan Co. Co: • Community Development Department • Arts Officer • Planning Department • Monaghan County Library • Roads Department • Local Enterprise Office • Capital Delivery • Municipal District Coordinator • Tourism • Monaghan Local Community Development • Regeneration Officer Committee • Heritage Officer and with Public Representatives; Cllr. Aidan Campbell, Cllr. Colm Carthy, Cllr. Noel Keelan, Cllr. P.J. O’Hanlon Cllr. Mary Kerr-Conlon & Cllr. Aoife McCooey 11. Survey for hearing the opinions and ideas of the residents of Castleblayney on the future of The consultant team developed an online survey for dissemination to the residents of Castleblayney. In the Market House and Market Square. In total 460 people completed the survey - a Covid times, with limited access to face-to-face meetings, the on-line survey became the key mechanism remarkable level of engagement, highlighting the strength of public opinion on the Market House redevelopment. The Survey was structured into three parts. Section 1 was designed so that participants firstly expressed their ambitions for the long term development of the Market House, the surrounding public realm and the wider context of the town of Castleblayney. Section 2 allowed participants the opportunity to express their opinions on the current state of the Market House, and the challenges facing the redevelopment project. Section 3 encouraged participants to identify actions and resources needed for the Market House regeneration and to identify how it might operate in the future, and who might take responsibility. 12. Dissemination of Engagement The link to the online survey was shared on local community groups social media pages, sent out on local community group email campaigns, promoted by local politicians on facebook & Northern Sound radio, shared on WhatsApp and hard copy versions were distributed. The community engagement was well covered in local press, including an article in ‘The Northern Standard’ on Thursday the 7th of January 2021. Online Survey for The Future of the Market House/Square Advertisement in Northern Standard for Online Open Workshop, January 2021 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 13.
13. Survey Overview ‘Heritage means so much There was a very successful level of response to the survey, with the participation representing to the people of Castleblayney approximately 12.5% of population (based on 460 responses). Over half of survey respondents (56%) were happy to be identified by name, demonstrating a strong engagement with the project. and surrounding areas.’ The participants represented a wide range of ages. The most underrepresented groups were 25-34 (8% of respondents) and overs 65s (7%). Of those that responded 60% do not work in Castleblayney, with the remaining 40% working or studying in or near the town (or retired from working in the town). A quarter of respondents (121 people) listed involvement with a community group(s). Community 17.3% 22.3% groups listed covered a wide variety of sports, leisure and voluntary groups. Over 65 6.9% 55-64 82% of people are fully supportive of the proposal, with a further 15% strongly in support of the 45-54 21% proposal. Only 1% of respondents (5 people) stated that they were not supportive of the proposal to 24.6% 35-44 8% restore the Market House. 6 people did not answer this question. 25-34 1. Age range of survey respondents 2. Quote taken from survey responses Under 25 The survey was designed to guide respondents through a process of first imagining a successfully restored Market House, then describing the current situation in the town and Market House and finally suggesting action to make the project viable. Immediate priorities that emerged from the survey include a strong indication that public access and community use, as well as spaces for people to gather, are respondents priorities for a successful restoration. The public realm was also a key priority. The ‘Listening and Gathering’ work indicated that the public are very proud of their heritage, and would take great pride in the restored Market House. Survey responses included that ‘Heritage means so much to the people of Castleblayney and surrounding areas’ and in imagining a sucessfully restored Market House that it would ‘reflect the town’s pride in its heritage’. People also held the view that this project had the potential to catalyse positive impact in the wider town, for example 78% of respondents believed that the restored Market House building would lead to ‘Greater confidence in businesses in the town to open and upgrade their premises’, 66% that it would lead to ‘Greater confidence in residents in the town to adapt empty buildings as homes’ and 66% that it would lead to ‘Improved public spaces in other parts of the town’. 78% 1 2 3 4 5 To what extent do you support the proposal to restore the Market House? Believed that the restored Market House would lead to From 1 ‘Don’t agree’ to 5 ‘Fully Supportive’. greater confidence in businesses in the town. Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 14.
13.1 Survey Section 1: A Vision for the Market House In this section participants firstly expressed their ambitions for long term development of the Market house, the surrounding public realm and the wider context of the town of Castleblayney. Events The findings in relation to the Market House building include a strong indication that public access ‘It’s the centre of Places to sit and community use, as well as spaces for people to gather and employment are respondents’ the community, a Gathering priorities for a successful restoration. place to gather Markets and an enjoyable Participants were asked to complete the sentence ‘ It’s 2030 and the Castleblayney Market House Pedestrian only space to use.’ restoration project has been a huge success because…’ Bike Parking 73% answered: The public can access the restored Market House Car Parking 73% answered: The Market House has a community use 1. Priorities for Public Realm 65% answered: The Market House employs people from the local community 2. Quote taken from survey responses 63% answered: The square around the Market House has been regenerated 60% answered: It brings financial gain to the town 58% answered: People come to Castleblayney to visit the Market House House. How does the public space around the building / the Market Square work? What When asked to rank their choices in order of importance, public access, community use and the is it used for? The priorities included Events (76%), Places to sit (74%), Gathering (72%) regenerated market square were listed as most important. Community use was listed by 36% as and Markets (65%). 40% of respondents thought it should be for Pedestrians Only. 24% most important. Regenerated market square was listed by 35% as most important and by 18% as supported Bicycle Parking with the lowest support for Car Parking at 15%. 2nd most important. Public Access was listed by 33% as most important. Employment was listed by 26% as most important. Visitors was listed by 25% as most important. Financial success was listed Participants described how in the future ‘ People in Castleblayney really enjoy spending by only 19% as most important but by 17% (shared 2nd highest) as 2nd most important. time around the restored Market House and in the town centre because…’ The survey specifically asked for information about the future of the public realm around the Market The Building and public space provide an easy place for people to meet/gather (78% ) The Building and public space provide space for new types of events/happenings (74%) The public realm and Market Square have been improved (68%) There are thriving businesses in the town centre (54% ) There are fewer cars in the town centre (24%) Public Access Community Use Employment Market Square 'It is a beautiful centre Financial Gain 24% piece of the town and has injected new life (and Brings Visitors wealth) into the town.' Key prioirities for the succesful restoration of the Market House Indicated that less cars in the town centre 3. Quote taken from survey responses would help people to enjoy spending time there Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 15.
The survey also identified other potential positive impacts in the town including... When asked what would make people in Castleblayney proud of the restored Market 78% Greater confidence in businesses in the town to open and upgrade their premises House, the themes that emerged were: history and heritage; aesthetics; community 69% Regeneration of streets and footpaths to aid mobility around the town involvement; a landmark or focal point for the town; attracting visitors; bringing life 66% Greater confidence in residents in the town to adapt empty buildings as homes back to the town; innovative sustainable design. The following comments relating to 66% Improved public spaces in other parts of the town shared themes include: 55% Re-use of laneways as shortcuts through the town and access to the lake History / Heritage: ‘It reflects town’s pride in its heritage.’ ‘Heritage means so much to the people of Castleblayney and surrounding areas.’ ‘It gives hope to other towns with dilapidated buildings and teaches younger Confidence in Businesses generations of our history and the importance of respecting it going forward.’ Streets and Footpaths Town centre living Aesthetics: Improved public spaces ‘It is a beautiful centre piece of the town and has injected new life (and wealth) Re-used laneways into the town.’ ‘It looks good and is the focal point of a revived Main St.’ Community involvement: ‘It’s the centre of the community, a place to gather and an enjoyable space to use.’ ‘It is such a central part of the community.’ Qualitative Data ‘It belongs to the community.’ As well as the more quantitative results outlined above, the questions are being analysed from a qualitative perspective with the aim of providing shared values, measures of success and Landmark or focal point for the town: community feelings that can inform the design brief. ‘It is a landmark building that represents all that is good about Castleblayney people - a proactive community that in respecting the town’s past also has its eye very much focused on the future success of the town for future generations.’ ‘It’s a focal point to a significant area of the town’. ‘...a landmark building that represents Attracting visitors: all that is good about Castleblayney people ‘Bring visitors to the town and become the heart of the town again.’ ‘It welcomes local and out of town visitors to the Lough Muckno area.’ - a proactive community that in respecting New Life: the town’s past also has it’s eye very much ‘It has regenerated the town’. ‘It brings life back into the town’. focused on the future success of the town Innovative sustainable design: for future generations.’ ‘It has innovatively re-used the site to create a unique facility’. ‘Of the way it has kept its history but is an example of sustainable, innovative design that allows the community to use it for a wide variety of activities. It has won many awards and people come from across the country and beyond to visit it.’ Quote taken from survey responses Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 16.
Market House? A Vision for the words would you use to describe the succesfully restore Market House: What What does it feel like? Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report bu el im fu pl ac bu zz eg po nc ac tiv sy in an rt tio e e g t an na t l go cu au im he ha m od ltu th pr rit nd od ra en es ag so er l tic s iv e m n e e fu la ne br co pr we tu nd w ig m ou lc re m ht m d om ar un k ity in g or ch sp ac fo gl hi ig c st i ar ac ce or na ac io ss al y or l te us ib ic r le co be liv ac gr in re m au el hi an n st fo tif y ev d ov at or rt em ed a bl ul en iv e e t at un to wa to op ce t ra iq u r wn nt c ue ris m en re tiv t e ha fu ic pu su pr us pp tu on bl st ac ef y re ic ic a in tic ul ab a l le 17.
13.2 Survey Section 2: 'It would be a great boost What is the situation like now ? to the towns pride to have This section asked respondents to describe the current situation- current feelings, the building restored and back 86% interests, facts, information gaps and the positive and negative effects of the current situation on a restoration project for the Market House. at the centre of the community. It will be well used!' When describing the negative issues/ current challenges in Castleblayney Town Centre now, most people identified the high number of empty buildings as a key issue (85%). listed the lake as Quote taken from survey responses Other issues included 53% lack of employment opportunities, 44% Lack of public space, something they 39% Traffic dominated, 35% Lack of small businesses, 33% Not enough people living in like about the town the town centre, 13% Footpaths too narrow, 10% Air and noise pollution. Participants also responded to the question of challenges specific to the restoration of the Market House. What are the challenges you see with the restoration of the Market House? 86% Cost of refurbishment 50% Cost of running it It is also important to note that people are very proud of the town, and survey repondents 48% Time – it has been derelict for so long contributed their feelings on current positive elements of the town as well 45% Who will be responsible for leading and running the project as challenges and issues. 43% Time it will take to restore 34% Protected structure status When asked What do you like about the town centre now? 21% People to run it People voted for 86% The lake 66% Proximity to nature 60% Volunteerism/Community spirit 57% History 52% Music/Culture 30% Pubs 27.5% The buildings Vacancy Lack of Employment Lack of Public Space Cost of Refurbishment Traffic Dominated Cost of Running Lack of small business Time - derelict so long Lack of town centre living Who will lead project Narrow Footpaths Time it will take to restore Pollution Protected structure People to run it Key challenges seen in the town Key challenges with the refurbishment Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 18.
What is currently missing in the town? Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report re fo be to pl ho ci o u ac v sid d nc h ris e te l ic en tia es t l go m offi sh he lo he o d us ce op rit ca ar eu s ag l t m e pa m ga m co pr bu r ar th us m id sin ki ng ke e rin ic m e es th un s ou g ity se fa c sp m to fo ca hi ili ac ee wn ca fe st ti es e tin ce l po or y g nt in re t ar ci lib re bu pe re ea ne ra st ild op ge m r y a in le ne a ur an g ra t tio n ev cy m se to sq ce en cl in ar ke at wn u ar nt ts g in e re t g in to sa pu vi he liv ve ile fe bl si al in st ts ic to th g m rs en t 19.
13.3 Survey Section 3: As previously noted, the survey highlighted very strong local support for this project. 82% Action of people are fully supportive of the proposal, with a further 15% strongly in support of the The final section asked people to consider how the project might become a reality. proposal. Only 1% of respondents (5 people) stated that they were not supportive of the proposal to restore the Market House. 6 people did not answer this question. What possible uses would you like to see in the Market House? 76% Cafe/Restaurant When asked what might encourage you to more fully support the project, most answers 62% Museum stated that if they had a clearer idea what the building could be, they would support it. 57% Community centre ‘A clear plan, consultation and a vision for the space.’ 54% Music venue ‘A definite plan.’ 51% Performance space ‘It’s not clear what the project is. My support will depend on the proposed cost and 35% Co-working space planned use.’ 32% Education Facility 22% Retail The answers also reinforced the need for the project to be beneficial to the community, 17% Offices and underline the need for ongoing and effective engagement with the community 15% Healthcare facility throughout all stages of the redevelopment process. There is also a clear concern for a 13% Hotel sustainable financial model for the long-term management of the building: 5% Childcare 4% Nursing home / Assisted living ‘The proposed idea of use needs to benefit the local economy and population. The type of service in the restored premises will need to be sustainable financially as well as beneficial What is your ideal involvement with the restored building? to the community.’ 24% I visit there regularly 20% I like to pass by and admire the building 20% I meet my friends there 13% I visit occasionally or for special events 13% I use the Market Square 3% I volunteer there 2% I work there 24.1 2% 3% 13% 24% Visit Regularly Pass by 76% ‘The importance the 13% restoration of the Meet friends Markethouse to the Visit Ocassionally 20% Suggested a future development of 20% Use Market Square restaurant or a cafe Castleblayney cannot be Volunteer as a potential use emphasised enough.' Work Ideal Involvement with the restored Market House Quote taken from survey responses Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 20.
14. Shared Vision The findings of the ‘Listening and Gathering’ engagement process, including the survey, have been analysed to create a shared vision, and a set of Key Prioirities to measure potential scenarios for development against. These criteria include the strongest public priorities emerging from the survey, as well as the stakeholder priorities emerging from the stakeholder engagement process. These priorities are Public Access; Community Use; Employment; Capital Costs and Running Costs. Scenarios can be given a score against each criteria, providing a shorthand assessment of options. We have developed a graphic diagram to visualise this. Scenarios are assessed against these priorities, with the widening circles representing more successful performance under each heading. This provides a visual shorthand for assessment of the options. PUBLIC ACCESS The successful regeneration of the public realm is also a key priority supported by the engagement process, but this remains throughout all options and is not included in the graphic of decision making criteria. It is a given also that each scenario would meet ambitious criteria in terms of design and conservation and that architectural excellence a key issue. COMMUNITY USE EMPLOYMENT CAPITAL COSTS RUNNING COSTS Diagram of Key Priorities for the success of potential building scenarios. Scenarios are assessed against these priorities, with the widening circles representing more successful performance under each heading. This provides a visual shorthand for assessment of the options. Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 21.
15. Priorities Informing Design Strategy The requirement for sustainable & feasible economic proposals. As determined by the ‘Listening and Gathering’ engagement process set out in Section 2, and the stakeholder meetings the following priorities are key in determining appropriate approaches to the As outlined in Section 14, an analysis of key priorities identified through the stakeholder development: and community engagement process led us to identifying the following as Key Criteria for success: -A first class heritage and conservation project, acknowledging the cultural significance of this building, and demonstrating a best practice approach to sustainable, environmentally conscious - Public Access adaptive re-use principles. - Community Use - Employment -Architectural quality, that any new interventions are of the highest standard of contemporary - Capital Costs architecture. With growing emphasis on the need for society to re-use existing building stock, - Running Costs minimising the carbon footprint of new developments. The successful regeneration of the public realm is also a key priority supported by the -An awareness of the need to prioritise a ‘Town Centre First’ approach to planning and development, engagement process, but this remains throughout all options and is not included in the to invest in rejuvenation of vacant town centre properties rather than peripheral sites. decision-making criteria noted above. Attracting visitors to the town is also a theme that emerged, but is not a key priority. Sustainable use by the local population is a more -Accessibility for the public; an overarching concern noted in the public’s responses to the survey important indicator of success. was a desire for public access to the restored building. Everyday, regular engagement with the building rated more strongly than one-off or specialist function. Pride: Public pride emerged as a key issue -A lively, high quality public realm catering for regular use alongside occasional special events. When asked what would make people in Castleblayney proud of the restored Market House, the themes that emerged were: history and heritage; beauty and architectural -A source of employment, giving opportunities to local businesses to locate in a prominent town- excellence; community involvement; a landmark or focal point for the town; attracting centre location. visitors; bringing life back to the town; innovative sustainable design. -Flexibility in planning for new uses to allow the building to adapt to changing requirements in the This chimes with the ‘Castleblayney Town Public Realm and Economic Plan, 2019’ coming decades. which referred to 5 priorities for the town: 1- The Greening of Castleblayney Town Centre 2- Showcasing of Castleblayney’s Historic and Cultural Heritage 3- Enhanced Integration with and Connection to Lough Muckno 4- Accommodating Living in the Town Centre 'It was adapted over its lifetime to reflect 5- Delivery of a Connected Town Centre (10) each generations needs and it should now serve 21st century requirements.' 1. Quote taken from survey responses (10) ‘Castleblayney Town Public Realm and Economic Plan, 2019’ p.6 Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 23.
‘Rundown, neglected, no pride, full of potential’ Quote taken from survey responses Current Relationship to the Town The Market house is the most prominent building in the town of Castleblayney, it forms the termination of Main Street, and sits at the centre of the historic Market Square, at the entrance to Hope Castle. The scale of the building, its prominent location, and its history combine to make it a critical part of the urban heritage of the town. At present the Market House is difficult to access on foot as it sits in a traffic island with vehicular traffic to all sides of the Market Square. The high traffic volume on Muckno Street in particular make access from the Main Street to Lough Muckno difficult. The difficulty accessing the Market House from the surrounding streets was highlighted in the ‘Castleblayney Town Public Realm and Economic Plan, 2019’. It is effectively cut off from the surrounding footpaths and pedestrian routes by its situation within a traffic island, surrounded on all sides by vehicular traffic. While visually dominating the streetscape at the eastern end of Castleblayney, its dereliction and inaccessibility have resulted in it becoming a negative blackspot within the town- ‘an eyesore’- as pointed out by participants in our online survey. The high vacancy levels in the adjacent domestic terraces is in part attributable to the dereliction and poor state of the Market House, it is not currently a pleasant building to live or do business beside. The negative impact of the Market House on the community perception of Castleblayney is notable on the survey- its dereliction is a source of frustration and annoyance to the residents of Castleblayney. Current Situation; Vacant Market House, isolated on an (unnecessary) traffic island surrounded by high levels of sound & air pollution Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 24.
'It looks good and is the focal point of a revived Main St.' Quote taken from survey responses Proposed relationship to the town Proposals to redevelop the Market House and to make it accessible to the town are dependent on an upgrading of the public realm at the Market Square and the surrounding streets, prioritising high quality design and materials, ease of mobility, pedestrian access, improved visual links, biodiversity and flexible use. The necessity of a high quality public realm is key to establishing an inviting culture around the Market House. Respondents also noted the potential of the regeneration of the Market House to reinforce the important relationships and views between key buildings and landmarks in the town and to act as the focal point for visitors to the town. With the development of the Gate Lodge, the plans underway for a new town Library, and the public amenity of Lough Muckno, a redeveloped Market House and Market Square will provide a civic and social focus to the town. Our design strategy is based on feedback from the public engagement survey and on spatial analysis of the existing condition, vehicular and pedestrian mobility, sunlight and shading analysis and potential for public access and high quality landscape design. Reconnect; Reduce traffic flow with increased public realm, a combination of shared spaces on Muckno Street and pedestrianisation on Market Square Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 25.
‘It welcomes local and out of town visitors to the Lough Muckno area’ Quote taken from survey responses Public access Sunlight/daylight The orientation and massing of the Market House causes the lower part of the Market Square to be often be in shade- particularly the part closest to the Market House. Shading is less of an issue on the upper part of the Market Square as the adjacent terrace height is lower. We propose the provision of outdoor eating area associated with the cafe on the eastern semi-circular raised terrace to beneﬁt from south and south westerly evening sunlight, making the this outdoor cafe terrace most usable and pleasant. Shadow; Long periods for Market Square & Muckno Street in shade. Terrace is the sunniest part of the building. Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 26.
Regenerated market square was listed by 162 as most important and by 82 as 2nd most important. Public Realm A redeveloped Market Square will prioritise pedestrian movement throughout the town and to the Market House, reducing barriers to access, making physical accessibility of the building a key priority. A regenerated public space will substantially increase the attractiveness of this part of Castleblayney and will have knock-on effects of increased interest in restoring derelict residential properties adjacent to the Market Square. The ‘Town Centre Living Initiative’ pilot project led by Monaghan Co. Co. has already taken significant steps in developing high quality living accommodation in currently vacant building stock. The implementation of the proposals for town centre living will be enhanced by an attractive, accessible public realm. The opportunity exists at Market Square to reinvent the space as a multifunctional, pedestrian friendly area which can accommodate markets, fairs and events. The plan to make Market Square a focal point in the town is informed by its historical use as a venue for the town’s market and as a place for group meetings. The accommodation of a commercial element is important in maintaining a link with its past, while the potential to use the public space for cultural events will build on the town's strong music and performance tradition. 74% of survey respondents supported the inclusion of public space for new types of events and happenings. In order to fully animate and use the Market House in conjunction with the Market Square, we suggest that access through the restored Market House connecting the upper and lower levels of the Market Square would support and encourage the use of both Market House and Market Square. Pedestrian Hierarchy; Maximising pedestrian flow and porosity around & through the Market House Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 27.
Activated Public Realm The development of the lower Market Square (at the Big Tom statute) and a pedestrianised upper Market Square at the southern end of the Square will provide a high quality public space, with the provision of seating and places to gather informally, alongside the capacity of the Market Square to host weekly or monthly markets, and occasional large scale event- music festivals and outdoor arts events. Street Furniture; Permanent and semi-permanent street furniture to promote active use of the public realm Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 28.
'I would like to see nature/biodiversity in and outside the building. This includes accommodating swifts, bats etc under eaves. Also plants inside and outside the building - a green building in every sense.' Quote taken from survey responses Biodiversity The redevelopment of the public realm and Market Square, with tree planting as indicated should aim to improve biodiversity within the town centre. The proximity to Lough Muckno and Muckno Park can add significantly to the attractiveness of the regenerated Market House. The suggested improvements in the 2019 Public Realm plan highlighted the need for a greening of the streetscape in Castleblayney- the inclusion of trees and appropriate planting in the Market Square will provide a nature corridor extending from Muckno Park extending onto the Main Street, as well as providing shading and a pleasant outdoor environment for residents to sit and congregate outdoors. (As identified in workshop with Sustainable Energy Group) Natural environment very important to survey respondents. What do you like about the town centre now? People voted for 86% The lake 66% Proximity to nature 27.5% The buildings Green Corridor; Planting of rows of trees to connect town to the green of Lough Muckno Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 29.
Proposed Public Realm Layout; A combination of pedestrianisation on Market Square and shared spaces on Muckno Street create a busy and safe walking route from Main Street to Lough Muckno. Trees line this route and strengthen the connection from the town to the amenities of the lake. Ground floor public entry and café terrace in the Market House activate Market Square day to day, while at the lower ground floor level the public space around the Big Tom statue provides a gathering space for occasional events and markets. 1 4 2 1 3 4 5 1 1 Pedestrian Crossing 2 Road Narrowing 3 Ramped Access 4 Street Pedestrianised 6 5 Ecology Corridor 6 Shared Surface ^ Proposed Public Realm layout Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 30.
Public Realm Outcome; Reducing impact of traffic, increasing pedestrian movement and securing future legacy of Market House in Castleblayney. Strengthening the connection between the Main Street and widely used amenities of Lough Muckno. Increased footfall supports business and other public realm improvements in the town centre. Widened pavements, Clonakilty; Shared Surface, Waterford; Listowel Farmer’s Market Castleblayney Market House and Market Square Public Engagement Report 31.
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