A NEW plan that would pave the way for a building boom in Clonlara and transform the east Clare village into semi-town status has been lodged with the planning section of Clare County Council.
If the plans of Keelgrove Construction Ltd are given the green light by the local authority, Clonlara’s population would be signiﬁcantly increased as the planning application proposes the building of 38 new houses together with a town-centre development.
The application was lodged by Keelgrove last week, with the proposed town-centre development involving the “construction of commercial/retail centre comprising of doctor’s surgery, dentist surgery, pharmacy, shops, supermarket and ofﬁces”.
The application was submitted by Keelgrove as part of renewed attempts to get the ambitious project off the ground. The plans were originally submitted to the local authority last June, but objections were raised by a group representing Clonlara residents.
The Residents of Clonlara Village group deemed that the development plans would “obliterate” Clonlara and turn the rural village into a satellite of Limerick, without any proper public transport infrastructure being in place.
“We believe the development would obliterate the rural integrity of the village and turn it into a dormitory suburb of Limerick City,” said the residents group. “We note that the developer indicates a ‘Phase 2’ development of a further 27 houses. The two phases together would more than double the number of houses in the village, and it would triple the number of commercial units in Clonlara.
“This would generate much increased trafﬁc in and around the village, with consequent risks to our security and safety. We ask that the council consider if such a scale of development is warranted and appropriate for the proper planning of the village, with regard to the National Spatial Strategy, the Clare County Development Plan, Clonlara Local Area Plan, and the projected demographic proﬁle of the locality for the next ten years.”
In its submission to the planning authority, spokesperson for the Clare branch of An Taisce, Anny Wise said “we are concerned that this development has no demand for it and that there are empty dwellings within the village and this would only add to them”.
Clare County Council’s planning authority is expected to deliver a verdict on the application by in early April.