The Kickham Barracks Development Proposal
The Planning Society of University College Cork is an academic society, whose members are students at the Masters Programme in Planning and Sustainable Development at the Planning school of University College Cork. The Planning Society decided to undertake this voluntary project after some discussion with members of local community groups interested in using the facilities within the barracks site. The drafting process took just two months and the end product comprises of a comprehensive proposal for the reuse of the Kickham Barracks site. The proposal is 48 pages long and is comprehensive in scope. It contains a strong multi focused analysis of the site and its context
On examination of the site however, our society quickly determined that there was a great deal of potential for the site in terms of the future commercial, economic and social development of the town of Clonmel. In order to ensure the exploitation of that potential remained foremost in the mind of the proposal team, we adopted the following goal to focus the compilation of the proposal;
The ultimate goal of this development proposal is to ensure that the re-use of the site contributes to the vitality of the town by facilitating the location of development and uses that are beneficial socially, culturally and economically.
In the short term, we advocate the use of the site by local voluntary groups that are short of space and facilities; however we also recognise that the Kickham Barracks site needs a long term development role within the context of the wider development of the settlement of Clonmel.
Ultimately we see the site as a key site in the development of the whole town centre as a space for commerce and economical activity. Strengthening the town centre of Clonmel is vital in terms of sustainable development in a social and economic sense. The strengthening of commercial/economic infrastructure is key in ensuring that the town centre is able to compete with the peripheral retail and commercial poles/developments located on the Frank Drohan Inner Relief Road and with settlements in the wider region. Therefore the development of this site is critical to the long term sustainable development of Clonmel and the County of Tipperary as a whole.
Integrating this goal with the challenges posed by the nature of the site posed some interesting challenges, however we feel that the measures we advance within our proposal successfully accomplishes the goal we set to achieve the most efficient reuse of the site while being sympathetic to the context of the site’s cultural and historical heritage.
This project is designed to illustrate how sustainable uses can be realistically employed on the Kickham Barracks Site in order to ensure that the site plays host to activities and uses that continue the proud tradition of community service that site represented during its time as a base for the Irish Defence Forces. This proposal is not to be considered the final word on how the development on this site should be managed; it is designed to indicative of the potential of the site as a source of development and community activity. It is important to recognise that the character of the Barracks is framed by its built heritage and the quality of the structures and spaces that exist on the site. Our proposal takes stock of this heritage and indeed incorporates its quality into the design proposals contained in this document. Most importantly, we believe the proposal will allow Clonmel to adapt and grow in the current, stark economic climate.