Fears business park development at Shannon may adversely impact pilots

Shannon Airport Authority has raised serious concerns over the viability of a proposed multi-million euro development at the Westpark Business Centre in Shannon.

In a submission to the planners of Clare County Council, the airport authority have highlighted potential safety issues with the development of the twin office units, with a combined floor space of almost 15,000 sq m, at the north-eastern corner of the existing Westpark centre.

Plans for the development, which could create up to 400 jobs if given the green light, were lodged with Clare County Council earlier this year and a decision is due from planners later this week.

Paul Hennessy, safety compliance and environment manager with Shannon Airport Authority, urged planners at the local authority to seek the views of the Irish Aviation Authority before making a final decision.


In his submission to the council, he also stated that Shannon would support the Irish Airport Authority if they discovered that the new development would have a negative impact on the safe navigation of Shannon Airport by pilots.

The SAA is particularily concerned that the height of the buildings, and the cranes used during construction, may have an impact on the safe operation of the airport. In their submission, they said that “the Inner Horizontal Surface and the Transitional Surface of the Aerodrome Obstacle Limitation Surfaces” will be impacted by the proposed development.

Both Irish Water and the Health and Safety Authority made submissions on the planning permission requesting further information and studies, but neither organisation raised specific concerns about the development.

The proposed development will also include a multi-story car park, capable of housing 914 cars, which will act as a bridge between the two buildings, as well as an amenity building which itself will be almost 3,7 00sq m in size.

This amenity building will include a creche, restaurant and a number of other ancillary spaces including an external play area.

If granted planning permission, the development will increase the overall office space in Westpark by around 20% and could translate into up to 400 new, permanent jobs, as well as hundreds more during the construction phase.

It is as yet unclear if the development has been earmarked for the expansion of a company or companies already housed in Westpark or if the twin buildings will be used to attract new outside investment in the business campus.

At present, Westpark is home to 46 different international companies who between them employ around 1,800 people.



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