Four Clare County Council planning projects have been shortlisted for honours at the 8th annual National Planning Awards in Dublin Castle on February 21st.
The projects are among 33 shortlisted by the Irish Planning Institute, the organisers of the all-island awards scheme.
The National Planning Awards recognise successful and innovative planning strategies, schemes or developments, which make an outstanding contribution to the quality of life in urban and rural parts of Ireland. The overall winning entry this year will represent Ireland in the European Urban & Regional Planning Achievement Awards to be held during the autumn.
Amongst the shortlisted Clare projects and plans is 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 commissioned by a multi-agency steering group comprising Clare County Council as lead authority, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Councils, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company. The Plan has been shortlisted in the Economic Planning Award category.
The Lough Derg Heritage Trail – a partnership project between Clare, Galway and North Tipperary County Councils – has also been shortlisted for a Heritage Planning Award, a category that recognises excellence in the conservation, preservation and re-use of buildings, features and landscapes of heritage importance as part of a plan or project.
The Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-18 – the first stand alone town plan that has been produced for Shannon – has been shortlisted for the Urban Design & Place Making Award. The Plan, which was the subject of a public consultation process during 2012, provides a framework for the future development and enhancement of Clare’s second largest town and its environs for the next 6 years.
Meanwhile, the Shannon Town Green Infrastructure Plan 2012 has been shortlisted in the Environmental & Sustainable Planning and Heritage Planning Award categories.
Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins said he believed Clare County Council’s strong showing in this year’s award scheme reflects the “progressive approach” adopted by the Elected Members throughout Clare Local Authorities on forward planning policy.
The Mayor continued: “The fact that 4 out of 33 shortlisted projects relate to projects developed in Clare is a testament to the hard work and expertise of Clare County Council’s Planning & Enterprise Development Department. Council planners have worked closely with and have been guided by Elected Members down through the years and it is pleasing to see that our collective efforts for the betterment of County Clare are being recognised on a national level.”
“The four shortlisted projects each reflect the Planning Department’s contribution to the future planning, growth and development of County Clare,” explained Gordon Daly, Senior Planner, Clare County Council.
He added: “The Shannon Estuary, Lough Derg and Shannon are all of strategic importance to Co. Clare and therefore it is essential that we plan for them in a way that can harness their full potential. They form part of an overall goal of positioning the county to make the best use of its resources. In this respect the successful implementation of the identified actions is the all important next step,”
“We are honoured to have four projects shortlisted considering the Irish Planning institute received a record number of nominations this year,” Mr. Daly concluded.
The National Planning Awards Jury Panel comprised of five senior and distinguished members of planning and related professions. After careful deliberation, 33 nominations for plans, projects, programmes, tools, processes and reports were shortlisted.
The awards will be presented by Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D. in George’s Hall, Dublin Castle on Friday, 21st February 2014. For more visit www.irishplanninginstitute.ie.