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Pat Dowling, CEO Clare County Council: “There are several emerging expenditure areas and demands that will have to be paused or deferred to future years to be revisited when this Council can provide for them.”

Council rebuffs Clare GAA’s pitch to rezone land for housing

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THE chief executive of Clare County Council has rebuffed a bid by Clare GAA to have “a large area of land” at Clarecastle near Ennis rezoned for housing.

As part of its bid, the management committee of Clare GAA employed KPMG to make a submission requesting that lands currently zoned for recreation with a smaller area of land to the north of the site zoned as ‘car parks’ around Clare GAA’s HQ at Clareabbey, Clarecastle, be rezoned for housing.

Any rezoning from ‘recreation’ to ‘residential’ would greatly inflate the value of the lands which is mainly made up of a GAA pitch.

As part of the consultation concerning the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029, KPMG presented the demand for housing in Clare and the study area along with an analysis of planning permissions in the pipeline.

Making the case for the rezoning of the Clare GAA owned Clareabbey site, KPMG contended that if current trends of inactivity continue, the Draft Plan will not deliver upon its housing targets to meet population growth of 1,550 units and 2,705 people in Ennis.

However in his report to councilllors ahead of a meeting this Thursday to discuss submissions, the Council’s chief executive, Pat Dowling has recommended no change to the zoning of the site in the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023- 2029 on the basis of the submission.

In his report, Mr Dowling noted that the submission “relates to a large area of land zoned ‘Recreation’.

Mr Dowling said that he was satisfied that a sufficient quantum of land has been zoned within Ennis and its environs to accommodate the required amount of housing units to meet the needs of the allocated population growth for the town over the plan period 2023-2029.

He wrote: “Therefore, given that there is adequate provision of zoned land within the settlement area I consider the zoning of these lands is neither necessary or appropriate and would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development.”

Mr Dowling confirmed that from a sequential point of view the development of the site would not contribute to the consolidation of the urban form.

Clare GAA earlier this year improved its financial position with an estimated €1.1 million raised before costs from a €100 ticket draw for a four bedroom house in Lahinch.

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