The Mayor of Clare launched the Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 today describing it as a “window of opportunity for the County to foster innovation, creativity and new sustainable, inclusive development.”
Councillor Christy Curtin joined Council officials as well as Clare’s 31 other Elected Members at the official launch in Aras Contae an Chláir.
The Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the functional area of Clare County Council. The six-year blueprint replaces the existing County Development Plan 2005 and is the sixth such Plan since 1964.
Welcoming the publication of the Plan, Mayor Curtin stated: “The primary goal of this Plan is to position County Clare as a driver for local and regional growth through harnessing the potential of its unique location, quality of life, natural resources and other competitive advantages. Ultimately, the Plan seeks to make County Clare a better place to live in, work and visit.”
The key strategies outlined in the Plan include:
- To deliver a flagship international scale tourism project
- To lead the development of a Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary, in collaboration with other local authorities and agencies
- To facilitate the economic development and expansion of Shannon International Airport to include an International Air Freight Cargo Hub and innovative initiatives such as a global logistics centre for humanitarian aid
- To prepare a County Renewable Energy Strategy within the Plan period and to proactively pursue opportunities for pumped hydro energy storage in County Clare
- To ensure that Ennis continues to grow and strengthen its employment, service and population base and maintains a strong retail presence in the County and region
- To prepare, in collaboration with other agencies, a High Level Strategic Plan to identify key priority projects capable of being accommodated at the Shannon Airport lands and Shannon Free Zone and Westpark
- To support and enhance the scale, mix and quality of the retail offer throughout the County, and in particular Ennis, Shannon and Kilrush, recognising their key roles in serving the County and potential to attract shoppers from the region
- To ensure that Ennis hub town and Shannon linked gateway continue to develop as the key drivers of economic growth in County Clare and the Mid-West region
- To further improve the County’s infrastructural resources, including public sewerage and water services, and ICT and broadband telecommunications
- To strike the optimum balance between facilitating future development and the prudent management of the built and natural environment
Commenting today on the publication of the new Plan, Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan said: “A number of the key initiatives identified in the County Development Plan have already commenced, and to drive those initiatives, to seek out and take advantage of further opportunities, and to assist potential investors, Clare County Council will strengthen the economic development function of the Council.
“This County Development Plan is ambitious. It is innovative. It is pro-active. It is a plan for people and places. It encompasses many facets of life in County Clare and, as such, the implementation of the plan will require a high level of inter-agency co-operation. I look forward to the further development of the excellent working relationship which has been forged between the public sector agencies in this county.
“The implementation of this plan will also require active support at regional and national level. Positive national government decisions will be necessary to secure key projects but the fact that this plan has identified and pre-empted such projects should help to facilitate support at national level. I would like to thank the Oireachtas Members for their support for the County Development Plan and I look forward to their future support during its implementation”, added Mr. Coughlan.
According to Nora Kaye, acting Director of Service for Planning, Landuse and Transportation, the County Development Plan is one of the most important plans that the Council undertakes as it will guide growth and development into the future.
Ms Kaye commented: “The Clare County Development Plan 2011 – 2017 takes into account National and Regional Planning Guidelines and other policy documents including those that have been published since the adoption of the Clare County Development Plan 2005 – 2011. The objectives contained in the Plan also complement the goals and aims of the Clare County Development Board Strategy, Clare Local Authorities Corporate Plan, the County Clare Enterprise Strategy, the County Clare Recreation and Sport Strategy, the Traveller Accommodation Strategy and the Ethnic Minority Strategy.”
The County Development Plan governs the four local area plans in the county and compliments the Plans for Ennis and Environs and Kilrush which have separate Development Plans.
A copy of the Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 may be purchased at Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co Clare. Copies of the Development Plan, comprising Volumes 1 to 7, are also available on CD at a total cost of €10.
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