Investment in Shannon Town will be more forthcoming following the conclusion of a master plan for the area, the Director of Economic Development with Clare County Council has stated.
Elected representatives of the Shannon Municipal District were updated at their July meeting of the ongoing work being carried out by Clare County Council for a master plan on Shannon Town.
Brian McCarthy, the Council’s senior planner is currently working on a brief for a potential streetscape. “We will project manage it from in house. Before we finalise the brief there are a number of important stakeholders mainly landowners that we need to have on board,” Director of Service, Liam Conneally informed the meeting, such discussions with landowners are to take place in the coming weeks.
€100,000 had been allocated for The Venue, a once planned community, civic, cultural and interpretative centre for Shannon, under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). This is now being used to finance the master plan.
“There will be an implication for this, it’s about us getting the traders and property owners to understand the benefits that will accrue when this takes place,” Conneally said of the streetscape. “The footfall relating to the existing town centre will be taken into account, existing commercial activity is not hindered, work is progressing. Because we don’t own it, it’s not as clear cut as if we were doing it for a typical town”.
Cllr Gerry Flynn referred to a motion of his from April which called on the Council to purchase Sli Cara situated between Sean Lemass Library and Kincora Apartments and build a public street. Such a move was described as “premature” at the time by the senior planner. “We have thought about it, we have a lot of our own thoughts that we’re holding close to our chest at the moment. We’ll allow the professionals to come back with their expertise,” Conneally responded.
Independent representative, Cllr PJ Ryan queried if incentives would be given to traders to develop within the environs of the town centre, “I know we can’t touch the rates”. “People transiting through the N19 pass through the town centre without seeing, the visual has a big impact on people, if you drive through the N19 and can’t see the town centre because of vegetation it’s not going to get extra people in”.
“It will be a composite piece of work, the focus from N19 south is on the park we are doing. There will be significant investment opportunities once complete. It will incentive investment in the town which before people were afraid to do,” the Director replied.
Regarding Shannon’s aesthetics, he said, “We won’t improve the visual aspect until the buildings start going up”. He mentioned that Shannon Free Zone is at full occupancy with “very high quality office development”. “It will lead to significant job creation for Shannon into the future. The Chief Executive and myself have an ongoing rolling meeting with Chief Executives from other companies, we’re being assisted in that by the Shannon Chamber”.