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‘Dormitory’ warning over provision of amenities for Clare village

A WARNING has been issued that Crusheen could become a “dormitory village” unless proper services are provided. The village has experienced a significant growth in housing development in recent years, but concern were raised at the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District that the provision of amenities has failed to keep pace.

During a discussion on the controversial issue of the location of a south-bound bus shelter, Councillor Pat Hayes cautioned that the overall development needs to be considered. The Fianna Fáil member said that, otherwise, there is a risk of Crusheen, which is located off the M18 motorway, becoming a commuter village.

The matter was raised by Councillor Pat Burke who welcomed the recent construction of a north-bound bus shelter in the village. He noted controversy over the south-bound shelter, originally planned for a site close to the Brodagh View estate, and urged that an alternative site beside the railway bridge now be considered.

“Following discussions earlier this year, we as public representatives were summoned to Crusheen where there was a lot of controversy over the location of the south-bound bus shelter,” the Fine Gael member said. “Ultimately, that proposal was shelved. I welcome works on the north bound bus shelter and that one looks very well.”

Councillor Burke expressed the view that the site at the railway bridge would meet with local approval. “Residents and those I met in favour of motion as I’ve put it down, in moving down on the Ennis side of the village,” he said. “They would see it as the preferred site. The previous proposal caused controversy. Proper car parking is possible for the other site. It’s not too far for people to walk, provided they are crossing the street further up the village.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Hayes. “The issue of bus shelters for Crusheen has been on the agenda for a long time,” he noted. “The community , particularly older residents have been looking for shelters. I want to acknowledge the present [north-bound] one is the result of a long campaign by a lot of us to try to achieve it. It is great to see it built without any particular issue.”

Councillor Hayes acknowledged the controversy over plans to locate the south-bound site close to a local housing estate and flagged the need to consider the overall development of Crusheen. “A lot of work has been done by a lot of officials over the years,” he said. “A number of alternative sites were looked at. A huge amount of effort went into securing a second site in Crusheen. The previous proposal was not acceptable to community. In my opinion, the overall view needs to be looked at. There has been more housing green-lighted in recent weeks and services need to be provided.

“We must also be mindful of the need to source funding for second bus shelter. The funding previously secured has now been spent. We must be very mindful of population and where housing is being built. The council in general needs to look at the whole development of villages like this. Services need to go in. We need to look at the overall development of Crusheen. We must make sure it’s not a dormitory village for the rest of the county or for Ennis. After years of campaigning, I welcome the new bus shelter as an investment in the future. I would also hope that bus services, which have been reduced, will be restored.

The opening of the train station and the rail stop must also be acted on.”

Councillor Burke acknowledged a recent planning decision giving the go-ahead for further housing in Crusheen. “As part of the County Development Plan – Pat Hayes is right – we need to consider extra services for the likes of Crusheen. Some villages will expand hugely while others will suffer. This is a much sought-after location and the services should match all of that.”

Senior Executive Officer (SE) Morgan Lahiffe noted that the centre of the village would have been the ideal location for both bus shelters. “Clearly that’s not going to happen,” he said. “It’s not doable. Any option we come up with is probably not going to meet widespread consensus. Clare County Council will have to make a call on the best location for bus shelter. We would hope majority of village would be on board, when time comes.”

In a written reply to Councillor Burke’s motion, Niamh Madden, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) said the council remains committed to finding a site for the south-bound shelter.

“Killaloe Municipal District can look at the feasibility of providing a bus shelter adjacent to the railway bridge,” the reply stated. “However, the Municipal District would have concerns in relation to the distance from the village centre and the need to cross the road at the bridge. However, the possibility of locating the shelter there can be explored.”

Housing development in Crusheen continues to increase, with 29 homes as well as a number of office and shop units securing permission from county planners, last month, for a site in the centre of the village.

 

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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