Home » Breaking News » Shannon draft plan looks to give town a heart and focus

Shannon draft plan looks to give town a heart and focus

A DRAFT of the new masterplan for Shannon was shown to local councillors on Tuesday.
While there have been numerous plans for the town over the years, they have so far failed to deliver a proper heart to Shannon, while local anger has been bubbling over the last five years about the town’s lack of facilities, the lack of investment in it and the fact it is possibly the only Irish town without a streetscape.
One previous plan proposed a light rail system running through the town, but that proposal, along with virtually everything else in that plan, came to nothing.
However, hope springs eternal, and Councillor Donna McGettigan said there are things to be positive about in the draft that was shown to the Councillors this week. She said it could see Bóthar Mór become a focus for new development, potentially giving the town a main street for the first time.
“Bóthar Mór would be the main focus of it, so Shannon would have a main street. It’d be about bringing in different shops. The Town Centre itself has always underperformed, we need to stop focusing on big shopping centres and focus on how to get people to come in.
“We need to draw in people who are working here, but don’t stop here. If people see that there are good plans it would bring in more footfall and more shops would follow.”
The Sinn Féin representative said she felt the plan has a vision for bringing together the disparate areas of the town.
“It would help bring Shannon together as one, so there would be a plan for a main road area. It would give the town a sense of being a town and having a heart to it. I’ve always felt that you have three Shannons, Drumgeely, which is the old part of town, then you have the middle bit Tullyvarraga and then you have Ballycasey. Sometimes they seem to be disconnected.
Independent Gerry Flynn said, “It was my first time seeing it. It’s a very ambitious plan, very ambitious, very visionary. There are a few aspects I wouldn’t agree with, the mix of commercial and residential in the town centre I didn’t agree with that. The road in front of the library, I think there should be a streetscape there because it’s set up for it, and I brought that to their attention.”
Councillor Flynn said that money shouldn’t be spent on the site where it had been proposed to develop the Venue, unless it is brought into public ownership.
“I would be of the opinion that unless Clare County Council own the site I don’t think it would be right to spend public money there. I think the local authority should have a presence there, there’s no doubt about it, but why would you be spending public money to line the pockets of speculators?”
He said there is a proposal to use some of the Town Park for residential development, which he also opposed.
Councillor Flynn also said he felt local elected representatives should have been consulted at an earlier stage, and they should not be behind business interests, who may be owned by people not actually resident in Shannon.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.