Academy Square: The eyesore 'gateway to Navan'

Dear sir – Your newspaper last week (18th February) carried a piece on a talk by Noel French on the Crannac furniture co-op in Navan, a story of workers taking over the business in the face of closure, and successfully running a co-operative for many years afterwards.

It was this company that coined the slogan “only an hour from Dublin” in its advertising, becoming nationally known.
The factory stood at the entrance to Navan, on the Dublin Road, always a desirable address in any town.
However, it doesn’t look too desirable at present. It looks a mess. The former Crannac site is now the location of the Academy Square apartment complex.
It is a shocking scandal that this half-finished development has been left for so long as the ‘gateway to Navan’. Who is responsible for this? The council’s attempts at landscaping the entrance to the town, around the ‘Fifth Province’ monument, are completely wasted by the fact that a massive scaffolding-coated semi-finished wall is the first sight that greets people driving into the county town.
This was understandable when the recession hit, but it has gone on for too long now. We all remember at the height of the boom when those apartments were launched at a glitzy, glamorous event in a local entertainment venue, with people falling over themselves to buy them off plans – they weren’t even built at the time.
Now look at them – a scar on the face of the town, an unfinished site that must also pose dangers, apart from the fact that it is an eyesore. And in the centre of it is a large sign for a commercial business, which may have initially been temporary but now seems permanent. Does this have planning consent from the county council, I wonder. Or is there nothing the council can do to pursue the developers/owners to have the building completed? Or the site cleared and the wall finished off? It is an ugly entrance to the town, and surely can’t be left in that condition for much longer?

Kevin O’Shaughnessy,
Blackcastle, Navan.