A NEW transformational development costing an estimated €400 million across three key sites in Limerick City will generate major economic benefits for South-East Clare.
That’s according to Deputy Cathal Crowe, who revealed plans will be unveiled in the near future for the development of a new industrial zone near Knockalisheen, Meelick.
Limerick City and County Council has announced a new transformational development proposal across three key sites in Limerick City in an investment worth in the region of €400 million.
This new development will include a new state-of-the-art medical facility and will see the creation of over 200 construction jobs across the sites.
Some 108 new one to four bed affordable and social housing units are also included in this major project.
The three key sites are in Thomondgate, Hyde Road Park and Coonagh, which is located on the Limerick Clare border.
Deputy Crowe predicted there would also be an announcement in the near future about the provision of a major industrial site within stone’s throw of Knockalisheen, Meelick.
The Meelick Deputy said Limerick City and County Council had identified an industrial zoned site north of Moyross as a major new centre of employment.
“The new industrial area will be located close to the docking point of the new Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road. This will be of huge strategic benefit to Clare.
“The Coonagh development and industrial zone will provide construction jobs and a huge injection of capital into the area.
“It will attract new investment and industry into the region. This has already been dubbed as an information highway because of the linkage it provides between Limerick Institute of Technology and University of Limerick.
“Having grown up in Meelick a lot of people living in Parteen, Meelick and Ardnacrusha felt they were a forgotten corner of Clare.
“The new Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road will not just alleviate traffic it will also attract development. What is exciting is what will happen around the new road network.”
Deputy Crowe said he understood this major project was put on hold for a few months until the new distributor road was given the go-ahead.
He said the new private hospital would provide a benefit for medical service provision in the region.
He outlined Irish Rail are also interested in pursuing a new park and ride facility in either Cratloe or Longpavement just inside the Limerick border.
Given the scale of the development, it is expected the Coonagh development will have to go to An Bord Pleanála.
In a statement, the council said, “The Joint Venture Whitebox and Clúid proposal will not only deliver much needed housing in Limerick but one of the proposals, relating to the Coonagh site, will deliver a variety of housing options to the area and investment on a transformational scale for the immediate area and Limerick generally.”
The Coonagh site proposal envisions the inclusion of a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) facility comprising a 150-bed and 40 day bed hospital, a medical training and research centre, an eco-park, playground, crèche and coffee shop.
It is anticipated that the sites will be developed over the next three to five years with the planning process set to commence in the second quarter of 2021.
In view of the approval for the completion of the final phase of the €58 million Limerick Distributor Road linking Coonagh with Meelick, Councillor P J Ryan has called on Clare County Council to carry out a series of improvement works on the Clare side.
They include public lighting, safety improvements at Brennan’s Cross, footpaths and development works necessary to merge public sewerage ESB, foul sewers, water mains, gas mains and telecoms and the provision of traffic signals and other ancillary works where Meelick will now be connected to many of the city services.
He stressed this has to begin immediately as the improvement works must be completed in two years.