*Photograph: Páraic McMahon

“CREATIVE MEANS” must be explored at a local level to bring derelict properties back into use as houses.

An appeal for Clare County Council to conduct on roadshow specifically on the development of zoned land and derelict buildings “in population clusters such as Corofin, Kilfenora and Miltown Malbay” was made by Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) at this month’s sitting of the West Clare Municipal District.

Such a move would “encourage property and landowners to consider availing of supports and making their property available for residential housing,” he maintained.

However the Council’s senior planner Helen Quinn argued that “sufficient engagement” is already ongoing.

Both officials noted that “extensive public consultation” was conducted in the preparation of the Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 extensive public consultation was carried out throughout the county both in-person and on-line”.

In 2023, for the Residential Zoned Land Mapping exercise by the Council further public consultation took place, where landowners with zoned land across all settlement in the county were given the opportunity to engage with the Council. This extended into 2024 with the publication of the RZLT Annual Draft Map on February 1st.

Submissions for the draft map can be made prior to April 1st relating to identification of additional lands, changes to the inclusion of land on the map and challenges to the date from which the land is considered to be in scope. Submissions can be made up to 31st May relating to requests to change the zoning objective of land identified on the annual draft map for 2025.

Quinn stated, “In light of the current open public engagement process underway together with the ongoing pre-planning facility which the planning department have available to all potential developers or landowners, it is considered that there is sufficient engagement at this point in time with the landowners of zoned lands within settlements”.

Commitments were given to keep the level of engagement under review “to ensure that there are no barriers to the public engaging with the planning system or council services,” the senior planned added.

Clare’s derelict sites team are working on over 250 properties across the county, Greene confirmed. “Where the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant could be availed of for any individual property, we are advising the owners of same. In addition, many such properties are coming to market which will hopefully increase the number of properties available for housing”.

Ten walk-in clinics were held in 2023 across Clare where property owners were allowed to meet Council officials on the eligibility criteria for the Grant which Carmel labelled as “very successful”. She said, “We have 320 applications for the Grant received to date and this is growing each week and enquiries are continuing each week also. We are considering further walk in clinics around the county this year and may do briefings to the elected members also. We will aim to include clinics in or near the locations listed”.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Killeen remarked, “there frustration with the slow development of land in North Clare”. He said, “There is a lack of housing available in our towns, a lot of houses are just not used, I was at a meeting with LEADER in Miltown Malaby, the topic most people want to discuss is housing and dereliction, it is a huge problem”.

He explained that he was looking “for a slightly different way of doing it” in terms of how the Council’s housing section broach the issue. In his native Corofin, he said there was previously eleven derelict houses within the village with the figure now reduced to two.

This proposal is “very worth exploring” in the eyes of Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG). “People want to live and stay in West and North Clare, we hear an awful lot about the lack of infrastructure like wastewater but alongside that we’ve seen massive investment in Liscannor and Ballyvaughan, we need to look at those places, in the absence of the market, obviously there’s actions Central Government need to take but our local authority is going to have to take on the role of freeing up and identifying what is possible in these towns following the massive investment”. He continued, “We have to follow that by making it possible through whatever creative means to build houses. We have a Croi Connaithe scheme in Lisdoonvarna where serviced sites funded by the Government will be created, that is doable”.

Voicing his support, Cllr Shane Talty (FF) said, “There are brilliant grant schemes and encouragement schemes out there. Joe is talking about boots on the ground to give it a kick. There has been organic development in Corofin and Ennistymon”. He recalled that Mullagh in West Clare had previously been mentioned as another example that would benefit.

Technical aspects to the dereliction scheme are posing problems, Cllr Rita McInerney (FF) cautioned. “There is a real drive and energy within the Department to make the dereliction work but there is issues with the drawdown”. Zoning continues to be an area causing confusion, she advised.

There is merit in organising a roadshow, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) maintained. “If all of the information is in Ennis, people would be ringing me and I’m not 100%, if you’re talking about a practical roadshow where people could come in on a clinic basis and get practical information, if we have to bring people like Warmer Home Scheme so there’s other commercial people out there with houses, pull it together”.

Related News

fiona levie holly cairns 1
Social Democrats leader confident party can win seats on Clare County Council
bothar mor shannon
Efforts to improve public lighting 'too slow' in Shannon
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
Latest News
bothar mor shannon
Efforts to improve public lighting 'too slow' in Shannon
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
meadow flowers spring
Blossoms on the Go's second tip for April
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
ennistymon v st breckans 13-04-24 joey rouine cathal morgan 1
Ennistymon & St Joseph's Miltown stay unbeaten in Cusack Cup
Premium
Photograph by Eamon Ward
'Remember you are there to serve the people' - 125 years of democracy celebrated in Clare
shannon md office crash 27-04-22 3
'Young drivers the problem' claim councillors as efforts made to put road safety on curriculum
broadford village
'No shovels will be in the ground in Broadford or Cooraclare by next election' predicts Clare TD
bridge utd v kilrush rangers 20-08-22 ronan tuohy 1
Three of four semi-final places claimed in Clare Cup
mid west hospital campaign 21-05-22 18 marie mcmahon
Measures announced by Health Minister are 'sticking plasters'

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top