Clare County Council has announced a series of public consultation events on a new six-year strategy for the future development of County Clare over the coming years.
The Draft Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023, which is the seventh such Plan developed in Clare since 1964 and is on public display throughout the County, sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the functional area of Clare County Council.
The upcoming public consultation events will take place at Kilrush Community Centre (Tuesday, 19 January), Miltown Malbay Resource Centre (Wednesday, 20 January), Scarriff Library (Tuesday, 26th January), Hylands Hotel, Ballyvaughan (Wednesday 27th January), Sixmilebridge Library (Thursday 28th January) and Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis (Monday 1st February). All events will be held from 4.00pm to 8.00pm.
Planning officials from Clare County Council will be present to answer queries, guide people through the plan and to inform members of the public about the formal submission process prior to making a submission on or before the closing date of 4pm on 29 February 2016. Planning officials also will be visiting schools throughout the county to seek the views of children during the coming weeks.
“I encourage all people of County Clare to become involved in the plan-making process. The coming weeks presents the people of Clare with an important opportunity to review the draft plan, to make their views and opinions known and have them taken into account. Working together we can achieve a shared vision for the future development of County Clare,” Councillor James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
The Cathaoirleach said, “The Plan will have a positive impact on every community in County Clare in the years ahead.”
“The planning principles set out in this document aim to achieve a healthy and inclusive society with a high quality of life for all people in the county, to foster job creation, innovation and economic growth, and to ensure balanced development in our towns, villages and rural areas,” he added. “A rich appreciation for the cultural and built heritage of County Clare has been embedded in the plan-making process, as has a commitment to the protection of our unique natural environment.”
The Draft Plan is wide-ranging and explores a number of key areas. They include the promotion of renewable energy and a decarbonised local economy, rural economic development, the development of cultural facilities, the growth of indigenous manufacturing jobs, community development, the protection of the vitality and viability of Ennis and Clare’s towns and villages, and maximising the opportunities of Shannon International Airport, the Shannon Estuary and access to the University of Limerick
It also features chapters on the promotion of a Shannon Estuary Drive to link the Wild Atlantic Way along the Shannon and Fergus Estuaries, and key objectives for the craft, arts and food sectors, as well as a section on the sustainable development of Holy Island.
“This is the first Clare County Development Plan to be developed since the dissolution of Town Councils and the establishment of a Municipal District system of administration,” said Brian McCarthy, Senior Planner, Clare County Council. “The Draft Plan reflects these significant changes that have taken place in the county in recent years, and sets out a comprehensive plan for the county up to 2023.”
Mr. McCarthy continued, “The Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023, when finalised, will be the single most important policy document of the county. It will represent an agreed economic, social, cultural and environmental blueprint for the future planning, growth and development of County Clare. The vision, goals and objectives of this Draft Plan are directed towards the creation of an equitable society with a high quality of life for all, the improvement of economic prosperity, and the enhancement of our unique and evolving natural environment.”
“The new Plan will only be successful if it is based on a shared vision for the future development of the county,” he added. “Public involvement is therefore essential. Everyone who lives, works, visits or invests in County Clare is a stakeholder in this plan and I strongly encourage all stakeholders to work in partnership with Clare County Council and engage in this public consultation process, prior to making a submission on or before 29th February. The Council is also engaging with the Public Participation Network (PPN), the representative voice of the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Clare, to ensure there is a thorough public consultation process.”
A copy of the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023, with associated Environmental Report and Natura Impact Report may be inspected during normal opening hours until 29th February 2016 (excluding Public Holidays). The display locations include Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis; De Valera Library, Ennis and Local Study Centre, Harmony Row, Ennis; all public libraries and all Municipal District Offices. The Draft Plan 2017-2023 also is available on the Council’s website at www.clarecoco.ie.
Written submissions or observations in respect of the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023 on or before 4pm on 29th February will be taken into consideration before the making of the Plan.
Once adopted, the Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023 will replace the existing Clare County Development Plan (2011-2017), the Kilrush Town & Environs Development Plan (2014-2020) and the Ennis & Environs Development Plan (2008-2014).