Planning For A Brighter Future In County Clare

From: Dunphy PR
Published: Fri Jan 08 2010

The strategy has been unanimously approved by members of Clare County Council following a year-long review process. It will be placed on public display in two weeks before going through a 10-week public consultation period.

Once approved, the Plan will pave the way for the zoning over 700 Hectares of land for ‘Marine Related Industry’ at locations along the Shannon Estuary, the provision of Electric Vehicle charge points throughout the County, the implementation of a County’s first Wind Energy Strategy, the development of an inventory of community, social and cultural facilities throughout Clare, and a requirement for all new buildings and houses to have a low level access shower and toilet on the ground floor to ensure access for all.

The Draft 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. When adopted the six year blueprint will replace the existing County Development Plan 2005 and it will be the sixth such Plan since 1964.

Mayor of Clare Councillor Tony Mulcahy welcomed the unanimous adoption of the Draft Plan. He noted: "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."

Commenting on the proposed zoning of large tracts of land along the Shannon Estuary, County Manager Tom Coughlan stated: "The Estuary because of its deep water, shelter and other natural advantages is a significant potential asset for the county and for the first time the Draft Development Plan introduces a chapter aimed at developing the Estuary for various economic and recreational uses. In addition to this, the Draft Plan introduces new proactive policies in relation to economic development and enterprise in the county including in rural areas."

He continued: "The Draft Plan has a strong emphasis on renewable energy production, storage and distribution and for the first time contains a separate Wind Energy Strategy for County Clare aimed at further tapping into the potential of the significant wind resources of the county subject to the normal environmental safeguards. The Draft Plan includes also for the first time a chapter dealing specifically with Rural Development and Natural Resources."

The Draft Plan also includes:
- A proposal that all new buildings and houses would be required to have a low level access shower and toilet. This measure aimed at ensuring the lifetime adaptability of homes in particular would be in excess of the minimum requirements of the current building regulations and will prevent the need for expensive retrofitting in many cases
- A separate volume a Record of Protected Structures for the county and includes a photograph and description of over 500 buildings and structures already protected and a further 200 that are proposed for protection
- An innovative and forward thinking proposal that in future certain developments will be required to provide facilities to allow for charging of electric cars and vehicles
- A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment carried out in light of new Guidelines issues to Planning Authorities on Flood Risk Management.

The Draft Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 will be available in public offices, libraries and on the internet at in late January 2010. Public exhibitions and various stakeholder meetings will also be held around the County and written submissions will be invited. At the end of the public consultation period, the Manager’s Report on any issues arising will be prepared and submitted to Members in June 2010.


Note to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or

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