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A view of some of the storm damage at Lahinch promenade. Photograph by John Kelly.

Lahinch promenade masterplan completed by consultants

Clare County Council is currently preparing a programme of repair works to infrastructure damaged by the storms from December 13, 2013 to January 6, 2014. When completed, the programme will be submitted to the Central Emergency Response Unit of the Department of the Environment for approval.

This news emerged following a motion from Councillor Bill Slattery asking for an update on planned remedial works for Lahinch promenade and a timescale for when the work is expected to be completed.
He said he appreciated the work carried out in 2014 by the council but said more is needed. “Lahinch is one of the major seaside resorts in Munster,” he pointed out.

Councillor Slattery also questioned the masterplan, which he said he has not seen. The plan was referred to by senior executive engineer, Steve Lahiffe, in his written reply to the motion.

bill slattery
Councillor Bill Slattery has described the masterplan “as a joke”.

Councillor Slattery said, “This masterplan is a joke. Councillor Nagle was involved in a masterplan before I became a councillor and we’re still awaiting the fruits of that masterplan. I’m wondering is this just an answer to keep us happy?”

“Councillor Nagle wasn’t involved in the preparation of that masterplan. It was consultants that prepared it. Very little has happened with that masterplan ever since and I would support what Councillor Slattery has said,” Councillor Nagle replied.

“A design has been completed by consultants for the strengthening of the coastal defences of the promenade. This was done as part of the masterplan for Lahinch promenade,” Steve Lahiffe explained.

He said the proposal involves the strengthening of the existing sea wall, provision of an apron on the seaward side, strengthening of the revetment and the alteration of the existing access steps and slipway. This work requires a Part 8 planning application, due to its scale and is not considered exempt development.

“The works required at Lahinch promenade can essentially be divided into two separate elements; coastal protection and infrastructural repairs. The strategy adopted by Clare County Council to date is to repair the infrastructure necessary to faciliate the continued use of Lahinch as an amenity. To that end, much of the essential infrastructure including car parks, footpaths, railings and the lifeguard station have been repaired. The replacement caps for the sea wall are manufactured and will be erected in March,” the council engineer stated.

Furthermore, Mr Lahiffe said the old promenade requires repairs to the existing sea wall and the provision of a revetment to provide further protection. This will also require Part 8 planning.

The Part 8 applications are to be lodged shortly and construction is expected to start late this year.

“A completion date of early 2016 is achievable, subject to a smooth transition through the planning and environmental process and approval from the Department of the Environment. For elements that require a feasibility study, it is intended to apply to the Office of Public Works for funding for a feasibility study in February.

“When the coastal protection works are completed, it will be possible to commence major upgrading works to the land-side, in line with the masterplan for Lahinch promenade,” Mr Lahiffe concluded.

Peter O’Connell

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