Friday 25 January 2008

€400m plan will create 1,000 jobs in masterplan for troubled Shannon area

An ambitious €400m plan to create 1,000 jobs in Shannon over the next 15 years was unveiled yesterday.

The blueprint aims to create a new town centre on a 90-acre site in an area still reeling from the Aer Lingus decision to axe Heathrow flights from Shannon Airport.

The proposals include plans for a new main street and town square, as well as a civic arts centre, hotel, civic park, a primary school, clinic and an enterprise school.

The plan was prepared on behalf of Clare County Council by Murray O Laoire Architects.

"The completed Masterplan contains an overall vision, planning framework and design guidance on the best potential development of the lands as an extension of the town centre area in Shannon,'' said Clare County Council's senior executive planner, John Bradley.

"Shannon has all the traits of a suburb and few of the qualities of a town. The community needs a place and space that brings things and people together."

The proposals also include 1,500 underground car-parking spaces, a network of pedestrian and cycling routes as well as technology to achieve the greatest energy efficiency.

Other green energy initiatives in the blueprint include solar panels and rain water harvesting, and five hectares of parklands and wetlands of parklands.

The Shannon Masterplan will go on public display in the town today. It must be approved by members of Shannon Town Council and Clare County Council before construction can begin.

Senan Hogan
Irish Independent

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