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Council says no to retail variation

A CONTROVERSIAL proposed change to the Ennis and Environs Development Plan, which it has been claimed would pave the way for a multi-million euro retail development on the outskirts of the town, will not go ahead as members of Ennis Town Council agreed this week not to vary the local development plan to include the proposed modification.

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Councillors invited to Purple Flag meeting

THE Purple Flag for a safer and more appealing town centre, is becoming a real possibility for Ennis with the town council accepting an official invitation from the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) to explore the initiative in an Irish setting. The invitation was received last week by Councillor Johnny Flynn in his chairing role of the Municipal Policy Committee (MPC).

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Opposition to large-scale supermarket

Opposition to the proposed development of a 70,000ft2 foodstore at the junction of Tobarteascain and the Clare Road in Ennis is gathering momentum.The investment of over €34 ­million will create 300 construction jobs and between 180 and 200 permanent sustainable jobs at a time when unemployment is at its worst in Clare since the 1980s, according to Seamus Lynch, managing director of Michael Lynch Limited.“Contrary to claims that we plan to build a shopping centre, the planning application we made is for a foodstore and  not a shopping centre,” he said. “Specifically, the site will include a foodstore, a purpose-built community building to house a much-needed new library that will be handed over to Ennis Town Council free-of-charge  and a new office building for Michael Lynch Limited.  “Our planning application has clearly stated that Tesco will continue to operate at the Ennis Shopping Centre, it will not be closing.”Ennis Chamber and Ennis Development Forum said they want to bring clarity …

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Local business groups engage with TDs

Ennis Development Forum and Ennis Chamber, at a recent meeting with Clare’s four TDs, outlined concerns at the fact that unemployment in the Ennis area has grown dramatically since 2007 from 2,000 to over 6,000.The meeting was part of an initiative whereby representatives of the business community in Ennis met with their elected representatives to highlight job retention and creation issues that require assistance and advice from both sides.  The Clare TDs had undertaken to follow up at national level on the various obstacles to the progress of job creation locally.These include the lack of adequate signage for Ennis on the motorway; the need for a marketing budget and strategy for Shannon Airport; the delays in renewable energy connection to the national grid; the threat to the development of the northern shore of the Shannon Estuary by EU designations; public transport issues including the situation for taxi drivers and the cost and regulation for doing business, including commercial rates.  The …

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Gaelcholáiste’s future at a critical juncture

A survey on the future of Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, which stands on the campus of Ennis Community College, indicates very strong support for the availability of Irish-medium education at second-level.It also indicates strong support for moving the Gaelcholáiste to its own campus, while a minority favours either independent status and remaining on the current campus or staying as it is, a unit operating within the community college.The survey was conducted by County Clare Vocational Education Committee, with the assistance of an external researcher, to assess the demand in the county for second-level education entirely through Irish.As a unit of the community college, the latter a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) status school in the centre of Ennis, the Gaelcholáiste has 137 pupils and an average yearly intake of 30, three-quarters of whom transfer from the Gaelscoileanna throughout the county.The survey report was presented to the October meeting of the VEC but a decision on the matter was deferred …

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