THE prospect of a crematorium being developed in Shannon receded this week as Clare County Councillors voted against disposing of the relevant site, where planning permission exists, in Illaunmanagh.
The margin was quite tight, with 14 voting against and 11 in favour.
A report from the County Council’s Senior Executive Officer Michael McNamara explained that in March 2009 planning permission, subject to conditions, was granted by An Bord Pleanála for a crematorium on lands in the council’s ownership at Illaunmanagh, Shannon.
This planning approval upheld a May 2008 decision of the council to grant permission for this development which was appealed by residents of Gleann an Óir.
“Both the Shannon Area members and the full council subsequently approved of the sale of the lands in question to Illaunmanagh Ltd. The area involved was 1.29 acres and the price proposed was €140,000. The proposed development never went ahead and neither did the transfer of the lands to the developers,” Mr McNamara added.
While he said that the original parties are no longer interested, there is another party willing to develop a crematorium.
“The original promoters of the crematorium are no longer interested in pursuing their proposal. The period of validity of the planning permission was extended in 2013 on the application of Jim Cranwell and the planning permission on the site for the crematorium now applies to March 2019.
“Last March the lands were offered for sale publicly with the benefit of planning permission for a crematorium and public notice to this effect was in The Clare Champion newspaper on March 14 last.
“The only offer received was from Jim Cranwell, who has made final offer of €140,000 which is the same as the price being obtained when the lands were previously being sold to Illaunmanagh Ltd in 2009.
“The proposed crematorium is part of a 15.9 acre area purchased by the Council in the year 2002 from Shannon Development and the remaining ten acres approximately remain available for development as a burial ground in the future subject to suitability.”
Councillor Gerry Flynn said that a lot of residents had objected to planning permission and that an inspector from An Bord Pleanála had upheld this, but the board ultimately decided to allow planning permission.
He said the land had been acquired for Shannon Development for a burial ground and he would like it to be retained for that purpose.
Councillor Cathal Crowe said the site wasn’t suitable for the proposal, but James Breen claimed it would result in an investment of €1.5 million and the creation of five permanent jobs.
Ultimately the disposal of the land was narrowly defeated in the vote.