The brainchild of Fáilte Ireland, the 2,500km route along the western Atlantic has won the Tourism and Economic Development category at the Irish Planning Institute National Planning Awards.
The amenity was commended for showing the opportunities for co-ordinated regional development and also its focus on balanced economic growth.
“The Wild Atlantic Way represents a truly regional planning initiative. We welcome its scale, stakeholder and local authority engagement, and ambition and commend its emphasis on balancing economic growth with protecting and enhancing the authenticity of the wild and natural environments,” said the judges.
The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme by planners at Dublin City Council was the overall winner. It is the biggest urban redevelopment and regeneration project in the history of the State and is now seeing multiple planning permissions being granted across the area.
It will provide for 2,600 residential units and up to 360,000sq m of office space, as well as retail, community and public amenity facilities predicted to create 23,000 jobs. Irish Planning Institute president Deirdre Fallon said the scheme represented the challenges Ireland has faced in its economic crash and how best to overcome development and regeneration challenges.
“Following the wind-up of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority in 2012, this was the biggest stalled urban redevelopment and regeneration project in the history of the State,” said Ms Fallon. “Against massive challenges a multi-disciplinary Dublin City Council Team delivered.
“Over 60% of the plan area is now benefitting from permissions granted giving a sustainable vision to this major part of the city.”
Ms Fallon said that, despite criticism of planning generally, many projects had highlighted the contribution positive planning can make to urban and rural dwellers.