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Mayor urges public to engage with plan for Clare’s future

CLARES first citizen is urging members of the public to make themselves aware of proposals that will determine planning and development in the county up to the end of the decade. 

With that in mind, a series of public information events is taking place across the county on the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029. The first of these take place on Tuesday next at the Lisdoonvarna Pavillion from 4pm and Mayor of Clare, Councillor PJ Ryan is encouraging people to inform themselves of the draft plans provisions. Submissions are being accepted up to 4pm on Monday, March 28. The plan sets out the overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the county over a six-year period.

The preparation of this Draft Plan has come at a very challenging time across all sectors of our county as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Councillor Ryan said.

There has been a profound change in the way we work, shop, communicate with one another, socialise and function as communities. The pandemic and the resulting restrictions have had a significant impact on almost every aspect of our lives. Never has there been such a need for a forward planning policy document as there is now.

The recovery of our economy, rebuilding of our society, renewing of our communities and our response to the wide-ranging challenges we face will be crucial for the overall development of our county into the future.

I encourage all people of County Clare and those with an interest in our county to become involved in the Clare County Development Plan making process. The coming weeks present an important opportunity to review the Draft Plan, to make your views and opinions known and to have them taken into account. Working together, we can achieve a shared vision for the future development of County Clare in a post-pandemic world.”

The Director of Economic Development on Clare County Council, Liam Conneally also emphasised the impact of the plan. It is important that members of the public and communities throughout County Clare have their say in the future of the county,” he said.

The consultation events will be an opportunity for people to examine the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 and meet Council staff who can answer any questions they may have. The Plan will influence the future development of local areas throughout County Clare so I urge members of the public to participate.”

Helen Quinn, Acting Senior Planner, Clare County Council, added: The preparation of the County Development Plan is an inclusive process and we are asking members of the public to get involved.

“The purpose of this draft consultation stage is for people to give their views on the Draft Plan and its associated documents, as well as key strategic and local issues. These include population and housing, economic and enterprise development, tourism and retail development, towns and villages, rural development, transport and infrastructure, built and natural heritage, landscape and green infrastructure, climate action, renewable energy and environment, social, community and cultural development, and land use zoning.”

Last July, councillors backed a motion seeking more time to thrash out elements of the new draft plan. A motion invoking legislation that makes provision for the disruption caused by the pandemic led to the granting of an additional seven months to finalise the blueprint.

While the extension of time was granted in strict compliance with the provisions of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act, 2021, several council members pledged  to use the additional time to ensure the new plan is as favourable as possible in terms of the development of rural Clare. 

Over the course of January and February, a total of nine public consultation will take place, subject to Covid-19 guidance in place at the time, in venues in  Lisdoonvarna, Tulla, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ennis, Clonlara, Killaloe, Kilkee, Clarecastle, Kilmihil. 

A copy of the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 with associated Environmental Report and Natura Impact Report will be on public display until March 28.

The document is available to view online and may also be seen during normal opening hours at the Councils headquarters and municipal district offices, as well as public libraries. Copies of the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 are also available for purchase from the Council’s Planning Department.

Details of the plan as well as information on making a submission or observation are available online at clarecdp2023-2029.clarecoco.ie/stage2-draft/display/


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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