Clare County Council has just announced the appointment of consultants for the design of proposed shoreline facilities at Doolin Pier, including a new visitor facility.
A new €6m pier was officially opened in June 2015 in the North Clare coastal village where currently an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 passengers are carried to and from the Aran Islands by Doolin-based ferry operators and this is expanding annually with the introduction of the Wild Atlantic Way through this part of County Clare.
The Council says the proposed visitor facility will replace existing temporary structures and will be part of a masterplan proposal relating to the development of the Doolin Pier area including the pier area in general, vehicle routes to and from Doolin village, and parking and traffic management.
Among the functions and operations being considered within the overall plan is the sale of tickets by a number of Ferry Operators, the serving of food, and the provision of toilet facilities for patrons and staff, public waiting/viewing area, luggage holding area, tourism information, car/bike parking, waste management, harbour master office, and health and safety requirements.
The architect-led design team comprises Bucholz McEvoy Architects (Architects), Punch Consulting Engineers (Civil Structural Engineers), IN2 Engineering (M&E Engineers), Aecom (Quantity Surveyor), Aegis Safety Ltd (PSDP safety) and HRA Planning (Planning).
“The key to the success of this project is the design of a sustainable product that is delivered in an environmentally, socially and economically balanced way to ensure longevity and success of the pier and maximise the potential of the new pier infrastructure already invested,” said Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive.
The consultation process, expected to commence during the summer months, will be taken into consideration during the design development to assist in maximising the potential of the site and also to facilitate an opportunity to obtain valuable local knowledge and insight from the primary users.
“The commencement of the design stage of this project is very welcome and it begins the process of delivering a visitor facility at Doolin which has been long sought after by pier users,” said Cllr. James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
“Doolin Pier is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure in North Clare and the primary tourism nautical link with the islands from County Clare. It is important therefore, that it is complemented with the delivery of important ancillary services and facilities as those proposed,” said Cllr. Breen.
The appointment of an architect-led design team to develop a full design brief and the Council’s decision to hold a public consultation process also has been welcomed by Cllr. Christy Curtin, Chair of the West Clare Municipal District.
“The proposed facilities will greatly improve the visitor experience in Doolin and they will help to further drive ferry activity between North Clare and the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher during the tourist season, as well as accommodate other activities – both leisure-based and otherwise,” said Cllr. Curtin.