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Council seeks to develop Shannon Estuary

Tuesday, August 19 15:14:49

Clare County Council is proposing to zone more than 345 hectares of land along the Shannon Estuary for the development of marine related industry.

Two Strategic Development Locations (SDL) have been identified at Cahercon and Moneypoint where the Council says existing pier facilities and deep estuarial water provide potential for maritime industry investment.

Clare County Council is proposing to incorporate the zoned lands into the Clare County Development Plan 2011-17 along with the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, a major strategic plan for the future development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along Ireland's largest estuary.

The land and marine-based plan, the first of its type to be developed in the country, was launched in late 2013 by a multi-agency steering group comprising Clare County Council as lead authority, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company. Clare County Council is the first local authority to seek to incorporate the Plan into its County Development Plan.

The Proposed Variation no. 2 to the Clare County Development Plan is likely to go to the full Council meeting in November, representing the first involvement of the new Council in making a variation to a Development Plan.

In advance of November's meeting, the public are being asked to consider making written submissions or observations (two copies) with respect to the proposed variation to the Plan.

Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council and Chairman of the SIFP Steering Group explained that the incorporation of the SIFP will give effect to a key goal of the existing Clare County Development Plan.

He continued: "The County Development Plan builds on the strategic location and natural resources of the Estuary by facilitating and maximising its potential for industrial development including port and harbour facilities in appropriate locations, improving connectivity, promoting tourism and recreational assets while managing the estuarine and natural environment in full conformance with the requirements of the Habitats Directive. The SIFP and zoning of lands at Cahercon and Moneypoint will enable the Council to work towards achieving this vision."

The Chief Executive also noted that the local authorities in conjunction with Shannon Foynes Port Company and the IDA are stepping up efforts to promote and market the estuary as a key investment location and that the zoning of lands at these locations will give greater "investor certainty".

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