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Public Consulted On Draft Shannon Estuary Plan

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The people of Clare, Kerry and Limerick are being invited to attend one of a series of public consultations on a major strategic plan for the future development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along Ireland’s largest estuary, the Shannon Estuary.

The Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary was launched last month by Jan O’ Sullivan, TD, Minister of State for Housing & Planning and has been commissioned by a multi-agency steering group comprising Clare County Council as lead authority, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Councils, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The land and marine-based plan, the first of its type to be developed in Ireland, indentifies a number of strategic sites along the Estuary for future possible development in the areas of industry, tourism, energy, fishing and aquaculture and marine-related industry.

Public consultations will take place at the offices of Kilrush Town Council in Co Clare on Monday 28 January, Tarbert Community Centre in Co Kerry on Tuesday 29 January, and Foynes Community Centre in Limerick on Wednesday 30 January (all times 4.30pm to 8.30pm). The events will feature presentations on the contents of the Draft Plan, while members of the public will also be able to discuss the Plan with local authority officials and representatives of the appointed consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers.

Meanwhile, the SIFP for the Shannon Estuary is also on display until February 15th 2013 to give the public an opportunity to view the proposals and put forward their opinions to the appointed project consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers. To coincide with the public consultation process an amateur photography competition has also been launched. With two categories, ‘Adult’ and ‘U18’, photographs submitted can feature any aspect of the Estuary, including people, places, biodiversity, work and recreation activities. Further details may be obtained from www.shannonestuarysifp.ie.

According to Tom Coughlan, Clare County Manager and Chairman of the Steering Group: “The key objective of the SIFP is to research and develop an integrated approach to facilitating economic growth and promoting environmental management within and adjacent to the Shannon Estuary. The process represents the development and implementation of first Strategic Plan for the entire Shannon Estuary including the lands immediately adjacent to the Estuary.”

On completion later this year, it is anticipated that the SIFP will be incorporated, by means of Variation, into the relevant County and City Development Plans. Further consultation with the public will take place as part of that statutory Variation process.

For more on the Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary visit www.shannonestuarysifp.ie.