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O'Connell street Photograph by John Kelly.

Public invited to have say on Ennis town centre transformation

MEMBERS of the public are being urged to have their say on plans for the transformation of Ennis town centre, writes Jessica Quinn.
An online consultation clinic hosted by the project team will be open to all this Thursday, while details of the plans have also been put on display at the offices of Ennis Chamber.
Clare County Council was recently approved for funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund for a public realm enhancement project for O’Connell Square, Bank Place, O’Connell Street, High Street, Old Barrack Street and Barrack Square.
Part 8 planning permission was granted for the O’Connell Square, Bank Place, High Street, Old Barrack Street and Barrack Square element.
The Council is now developing proposals for the O’Connell Street element, with modifications for Barrack Street, and is seeking people’s input on the preliminary design for the project with a view to informing the detailed design process.
The Project Team, comprising Tom McNamara & Partners and Nicholas de Jong Associates, have been hosting a series of online stakeholders consultation clinics this week, with face-to-face consultations not possible due to Covid-19.


The process began this Tuesday with business traders in the immediate vicinity invited to the clinics; it continues on Wednesday with specialist groups invited to take part.
This Thursday, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm the consultation clinic will be open to any interested parties and the general public.
Clare County Council has launched the ‘Your Say’ platform containing relevant information on the proposed project.
People are welcome to view the project drawings, provide feedback on the proposals, and leave a comment on the proposed works that can be discussed on the night.
This platform also contains the links to the various Zoom sessions. This online platform will remain live for feedback until close of business June 27 and can be accessed on https://yoursay.clarecoco.ie/part8oconnellstreet
The proposals being developed are expected to be submitted for Part 8 planning approval in the third quarter of this year.
It is anticipated that construction would commence on the entire project in the second and third quarter of 2022.
The plans have been put on display at the O’Connell Street offices of Ennis Chamber, with a spokesperson urging people to look at the plans and have their say as part of the public consultation process.
“As Ennis Chamber offices at 54 O’Connell Street are in the heart of the new planning proposal, we think it appropriate to display relevant maps and diagrams on our window, to allow people easy access to view future plans. The plans will be in situ for public viewing from June 23.”
The Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is intended to drive regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and under utilised areas within Ireland’s cities and large towns.
The O’Connell Square, High Street, Bank Place, Barrack Street, O’Connell Street and Old Barrack Square, has an overall cost of €5,390,391 with 75% of the cost being granted funded under the URDF, and the remaining 25% being financed by Clare County Council.
According to the Council, in addition to the Parnell Street laneways and bow-ways project this will have the shared purpose of regenerating the public realm and will enhance the town centre environment, making it a more accessible and attractive place to spend time.

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