Councils join forces to plan blueprint for development of Shannon Estuary

A plan for the Shannon Estuary was launched yesterday, identifying key strategic locations to help further advance the development of the waterway for maritime-based industry and tourism.

The Strategic Integrated Framework Plan, the first of its type to be developed in the country, has been commissioned by a multi-agency steering group comprising Clare County Council as lead authority, Limerick City and County Councils, Kerry County Council, and Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The plan will be incorporated into the county and city development plans in Kerry, Clare, and Limerick.

The plan identifies nine ‘strategic development locations’ on the estuary: Moneypoint, Innismurry/ Cahercon, Limerick Docks, Foynes Island, Foynes Port and adjoining lands, Askeaton Industrial Estate, Aughinish Island, Tarbert Power Station, and Ballylongford Landbank.

The plan charts Moneypoint and Tarbert power stations as ‘key energy sites’ in addition to Ballylongford Landbank, the site of the permitted liquefied natural gas project.

The plan calls Kilconly Point, Carrig Island, Tarbert Bay, and Moneypoint opportunity sites for renewable energy.

There are eight fishing and aquaculture sites identified for development, while the plan also looks at the tourism potential of the estuary and includes objectives to develop the cruise ship industry. There are also objectives relating to aviation and the development of Shannon Airport.

Pat Keating, chief executive of Shannon Foynes Port Company, said: “The Strategic Integrated Framework Plan is fully consistent with our own masterplan, Vision 2041, launched earlier this year and which sets out the unique potential of the estuary to facilitate clean, scalable investment such as the proposed €1bn liquefied natural gas terminal at Ballylongford.”

Clare county manager and chairman of the plan’s steering committee, Tom Coughlan, said: “The primary aim of the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan is to identify the nature and location of future development, economic growth and employment that can be sustainably accommodated within the estuary.”


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