Shannon hopes town plan will take off as 2,000 acres zoned for aviation

Clare County Council will launch a standalone town plan for Shannon today which includes the zoning of a 2,000-acre landbank for aviation-related business and activities.

The launch of the Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-2018 coincides with the impending separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

When finally cut free from the DAA, Shannon Airport will merge with a restructured Shannon Development to form a new, publicly owned, commercial entity in mid-2013.

It has been estimated that between 3,000 and 3,500 new, direct jobs will be created over the next five years as a direct result of the separation.

The new Shannon Town and Environs Plan has zoned 2,000 acres, which were originally set out as a key objective of the Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017, for use by the aviation sector.

Clare county manager Tom Coughlan said this further underlines the council’s longstanding vision for the development and expansion of Shannon Airport.

“The council is exercising leadership to achieve this vision through the zoning of lands which is a key requirement for the future expansion of services at the airport. In doing so, we have worked very closely with the airport authority and other agencies.

“Appropriate potential uses for the Airport Zoned Lands include airport operational activities and uses complementary to the operation of the airport, aircraft maintenance/cargo handling facilities, business park use primarily related to airport servicing, management and maintenance activities, long-term aircraft maintenance, air-freight cargo handling facilities and other innovative initiatives,” Mr Coughlan said.

Shannon Town’s longest serving councillor, and former mayor of Clare, has however expressed concern about the proposal.

Cllr Patricia McCarthy said: “I am concerned about what this landbank is made up of. I’m not aware of any landbank in Shannon of the scale being proposed.

“I would also like to know whether they are talking about a greenfield site and/or lands with existing buildings. If they are talking about Shannon Development-owned buildings in the free zone, many of those are in a very bad way and would need to be demolished or refurbished. Where’s the money going to come from for that?” she asked.

The plan will be launched at Shannon Airport today.


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