FOUR Clare County Council planning projects have been shortlisted for awards in the 2013-2014 National Planning Awards.
The Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, a major strategic plan for the future development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along Ireland’s largest estuary, is one of the nominated projects.
The land and marine-based plan, the first of its type to be developed in the country, was 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 plan has been shortlisted in the Economic Planning Award category.
The Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-18 – the first stand alone town plan that has been produced for Shannon – has also been shortlisted for the Urban Design & Place Making Award.
The Plan, which was the subject of a public consultation process during 2012, provides a framework for the future development and enhancement of Clare’s second largest town and its environs for the next six years.
The Shannon Town Green Infrastructure Plan 2012 is also in the running for an award in the Environmental & Sustainable Planning and Heritage Planning categories. Meanwhile, the Lough Derg Heritage Trail – a partnership project between Clare, Galway and North Tipperary County Councils – has also been shortlisted for a Heritage Planning Award, a category that recognises excellence in the conservation, preservation and re-use of buildings, features and landscapes of heritage importance as part of a plan or project.
Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins said the council’s achievement in being shortlisted for four awards is testament to the hard work and expertise of the staff of the Planning & Enterprise Development Department.
“It is especially noteworthy considering the fact that the awards scheme attracted a record number of nominations this year. I believe the council’s strong showing reflects the progressive approach adopted by my fellow elected members throughout Clare Local Authorities on forward planning policy,” he added.
The council’s senior planner, Gordon Daly said the Shannon Estuary, Lough Derg and Shannon are all of strategic importance to County Clare and it is essential that they plan for them in a way that can harness their full potential.
“They form part of an overall goal of positioning the county to make the best use of its resources. In this respect the successful implementation of the identified actions is the all important next step,” he said.