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Tag Archives: clare county council

Councillor James Breen

Draft county development plan on display

Clare county councillors have unanimously backed the preparation of a new six-year strategy for the future development of the county. The Draft Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023, the seventh such plan developed in Clare since 1964, sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the functional area of Clare County Council. Once adopted, the plan will replace the existing Clare County Development Plan (2011-2017), the Kilrush Town & Environs Development Plan (2014-2020) and the Ennis & Environs Development Plan (2008-2014). The draft plan goes on public display throughout the county today (Tuesday) until February 29, 2016, which also is the closing date for receipt of public submissions. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen outlined the importance of everybody taking the opportunity to review the draft plan and having a direct input in the future economic and social development of the county. Councillor Breen added, “My colleagues on Clare County Council and I are committed to working …

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New arts development plan

A NEW County Arts Development Plan, which aims to build on the progress made by the local arts sector in recent years, is being prepared. Submissions from interested parties are being invited by the Clare County Arts Office to the proposed plan, the development of which coincides with the development of a National Cultural Policy by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It also follows the recent launch of The ArtsCouncil’s new 10-year strategy. The Clare County Arts Office says it will be reflecting on the work done over the last number of years in the county and looking forward to help further sustain and develop such work. Siobhán Mulcahy, county arts officer, said, “The aims in the previous plan have stood us in good stead over the last number of years, but we welcome this opportunity to review them and to create tangible objectives, plans and policies that will continue to place County Clare as a leader in …

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Work begins on Ennis market rejuvenation

WORK on revamping Ennis’ market to include a new “iconic” covered building for traders has now begun in the town centre. It is expected that the new market will be ready in time to be showcased to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will flock to Ennis for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Construction work has started on the Ennis Market Rejuvenation Project with a finish date of July 2016 for phase one of the redevelopment of the market at Garraunakilla. The new market will have room for 25 stalls, made up of internal covered areas and also space for stalls in the courtyard outside. The actual number of stalls for each market will vary, depending on the size of the stalls to be accommodated. According to the council, the allocation of stalls will be done through an open process and following discussion with market traders and other interested parties. Speaking to The Clare Champion at the site …

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Met Éireann Orange Alert

Clare County Council is warning the public to remain indoors where possible this afternoon (Tuesday) due to forecast strong winds. Met Éireann has issued an Orange Alert for Clare, the second highest level of alert that the agency can issue. From midday mean west to southwest winds of 60-75km/hr, with gusts of up to 120km/hr, are forecast. The storm, named Barney under the new Met Éireann / UK Met Office storm naming system, will peak during Tuesday afternoon and will abate slowly during the late evening. Paul Moroney, senior engineer, Clare County Council said, “High winds are forecast later today over the south western and western fringes of the country. Met Éireann have issued an orange weather warning which covers County Clare during this weather event. County Clare is likely to be affected to a greater extent than most other areas with the impact extending for a considerable distance inland through the afternoon.” “Wind strengths could average up to 75km/hour …

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Vacant houses hold key to unlocking crisis

CLARE County Council has appealed to property owners to make their vacant homes available for social housing, in a bid to ease the “epidemic” accommodation shortage. According to the council’s director of services for housing, Ger Dollard, one of the keys to unlocking the solution is through the use of vacant properties. Owners of the thousands of currently empty properties in Clare are being encouraged to make contact with the local authority, with a view to making more homes available for those on the waiting list. Mr Dollard told a meeting of Clare County Council that this is the “real solution” to dealing with the housing issue in the short term. Figures contained in the 2011 Census show there are 11,782 vacant housing units in Clare out of a total housing stock of 55,616 units. The vacancy rate of 21.2% is the second highest in Munster and higher than the national average of 14.5%. At the meeting, Mr Dollard agreed …

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Councillors seek abolition of West Clare Municipal District

The two longest serving county councillors are seeking the abolition of the West Clare Municipal District (WCMD) amid claims it is no longer relevant due to a lack of funding. Stretching from Loop Head to Ballyvaughan, eight county councillors are members of this district and on the 28-person Clare County Council. District chairman Christy Curtin, and Clare’s longest serving councillor PJ Kelly, have suggested that the municipal district has no real role to play because of a lack of finance. They made their comments at last Friday’s local authority meeting in Miltown Malbay Community Centre when it emerged that their budget was set at €56,700. “Is there a case for our discontinuing?” Councillor Curtin asked. “I don’t see a role for us any more. Rural Ireland has become economically and politically irrelevant,” Councillor Kelly claimed. Chief executive officer Tom Coughlan told councillors at the meeting that the allocation was the same as that issued in 2014. Councillor Kelly asked how …

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Ennistymon right of way row

A DISPUTED right of way on the proposed site for a new Aldi supermarket “will be contested to the end”, a former mayor of Clare told an oral hearing last week. An Bord Pleanála held a two-day hearing in Ennis last week after three separate appeals were lodged against permission for the development of the discount supermarket on the mart site in Ennistymon. As well as the amenity value of the existing mart, Kevin O’Connor, the resident living closest to the site, described how schoolchildren, local people and firefighters at the nearby station have used a stile beside his home to access a right of way through the mart grounds for decades. Mr O’Connor described how he is the third generation of his family to live on Churchill, his children are the fourth and his grandchildren the fifth. In cross-questioning, he estimated that the stile “must be there over 40 years”. He said he had been using it for the …

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Plenty of rock salt to treat roads

Clare County Council has sufficient supplies of rock salt to treat the county’s regional and national roads over the winter months. The local authority’s depot/maintenance facility at Beechpark, has 1,600 tonnes of rock salt, which the council notes is sufficient to facilitate up to 30 applications on the county’s strategic road network. Salt stocks will also be drawn down by the council during the winter from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the NRA) and the Department of Transport. Further stocks will be available if required in an emergency situation from TII’s strategic salt reserve.

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