Ennis National school site ideal for future retail development

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The current site of the National School in Ennis, ‘ideal for future retail development’.

THE current site of Ennis National School would be “ideal” for the future development of a commercial retail centre, according to Ennis Parish.
The view that the Kilrush Road site would become a “strategic location for retail development” is contained in a submission by the Parish on the draft Ennis and Environs Development Plan to Clare County Council.
Prepared by engineering firm Paddy Coleman and Associates, the submission cites the Retail strategy for the Mid West Region (2010-2016) in stating there is “a deficiency in retail use in convenience and comparison goods within the town of Ennis”.
The submission states, “It is their opinion that Proposal Site PS1 is ideal and should be promoted by the council through the Ennis and Environs Development Plan to cater for the identified retail deficiency. It is stated that they own part of the said site (the land associated with the Boys National School) and that the land will be available in the short term when it is vacated for the new school currently under construction at Ashline”.
Ennis National School is due to move from its current site to a new building at Ashline later this year. Builders are working to an accelerated programme to have the building ready by Autumn.
Town Manager Ger Dollard has already stated that discussions with landowners have taken place so “a masterplan can be prepared for its development with the objective of completing the planning process at an early stage to ensure that the re-development of the site as a primary retail area can be progressed immediately on the relocation of the school to the Kilrush Road.”
The Parish submission states that in order to increase the attractiveness of this site the town centre boundary should be extended to encompass the site. It continues, “this would greatly increase the prospect of developing the site in the near future because it would (a) become a strategic location for retail development in terms of sequential testing as it would become a town centre location rather than an edge of centre location.
It is stated that other sites in the town centre i.e. Cusack Park, the Ennis Shopping Centre and the Post Office Field are not currently developable due to planning restrictions on these sites”.
The submission states that other landowners are interested in the development of the site.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

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