Councillors set to reject 12-year blueprint for the development of midwest

CLARE County Council is set to reject a 12-year blueprint for the development of the midwest.

Dubbed ‘Mein Kampf’ by Cllr PJ Kelly (FF), councillors have resolved to reject the 93-page draft Midwest Regional Guidelines in their current form.

The council has met twice to discuss the guidelines but councillors from all sides of the chamber spoke out in opposition.

In a formal submission outlining the rejection, the council states the guidelines “would appear to seek to control population to an unacceptable degree and not give sufficient weight to the development of rural areas”.

The submission continues: “The development plan’s implications on retailing appear to advocate that future development of retailing in the region take place within Limerick city centre at the expense of Co Clare and particularly Ennis and Shannon.

“It is the view of the elected members that Clare must also be allowed to fulfil its appropriate retail functions. It is considered that the commentary as presented in the draft guidelines could be viewed as imposing blanket restrictions on retailing within Clare.”

The submission further suggests the draft proposals would appear to advocate a ‘one size fits all’ approach to landscape designation and management in the region.

The council states: “This fails to recognise the variety of landscapes across the region and would hamper the ability of respective planning authorities to best manage this issue having regard to local circumstances.”

It says the draft guidelines “do not give adequate consideration to the importance of Shannon airport and its potential, particularly as an international cargo hub”.

At a meeting on the issue, Clare county manager Tom Coughlan told councillors: “You have some serious reservations about the plan.”

A motion by deputy mayor, Cllr Tommy Brennan (Ind) that the council would reject the guidelines unless the council’s views are taken into account was adopted.

The public has until March 1 to make submissions.


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