1 - Economic Development and Planning Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 1 (Economic Development and Planning Policy) of Sligo County Council held at 11.00am on Monday 25th September, 2006 in the Training Room, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • T McLoughlin,
  • P Barry,
  • A Colleary,
  • J Devins,
  • D H McGowan,
  • G Healy, Chamber of Commerce,
  • P Tuohy, Aclare Development Council.

OFFICIALS PRESENT:

  • P Forkan, Director of Services
  • S Ryan, Heritage Officer
  • F Moylan, Senior Executive Planner
  • J McNamara, Administrative Officer
  • D Breen, A/Director of Services
  • M Davidescu, Executive Planner

APOLOGIES:

  • Brendan Carolan,
  • M Keenan, Keenan Construction Ltd.,
  • Cllr S. Kilgannon,
  • Cllr S. McManus,
  • N O’Driscoll, Ballisodare Community Council

CHAIRPERSON:

  • The Chairperson, Cllr Tony McLoughlin, presided.

(1) TO CONFIRM THE MINUTES OF SPC1 MEETING HELD ON 13TH JULY, 2006

Proposed: Cllr Patsy Barry
Seconded: Cllr Tony McLoughlin

And agreed:

“that the minutes of Strategic Policy Committee No.1 meeting held on 13th July, 2006 be confirmed.”

(2) MATTERS ARISING:

No matters were raised under this heading

(3) DRAFT COUNTY HERITAGE PLAN 2007-2011

Ms. S Ryan, Heritage Officer gave an overview of the Draft Heritage Plan 2007-2011 and informed the meeting that extensive public consultations were held in May and June. She stated that the plan was not statutory or inspirational, it was a five year work plan and included contributions from organizations and individuals that reflected local priorities for Heritage in Sligo over the next five years. She indicated that the actions set out were realistic and achievable within the specified time frame.

Ms Ryan outlined the content of the Plan and indicated that it would require partnership and participation if the 60 No. actions, as set out in the plan, were to be achieved. She indicated that implementation of the plan would be overseen by the Heritage Forum and appropriate working group which would be supported and co-ordinated by the Heritage Office.

She informed the meeting that a budget of €850,000 (exc. staff costs) was required for delivery of the plan over the 5 year period.

She confirmed that the Heritage Council would consider funding aspects of the Plan that were compatible with the objectives of the Heritage Council Plan. Ms. Ryan also stated that the County Council had agreed to support the delivery of the plan and also to provide funding, subject to normal budgetary constraints.

Ms. Ryan then sought the agreement and approval of the members of the SPC1 meeting to the Draft Heritage Plan 2007-2011.

It was proposed by Tony McLoughlin and seconded by Cllr Patsy Barry and agreed that the Draft County Sligo Heritage Plan 2007- 2011, be agreed and approved. It was further recommended that it be placed before the December Council Meeting for adoption.

Ms. Tuohy complimented all involved in the provision of name plaques in Kilmactigue Cemetery under the Community Heritage Grants Scheme.

She also stated that access to local heritage sites was an issue and required to be addressed. She also requested that a plaque be placed at O Hara’s Castle. It was confirmed by Mr Declan Breen and Ms S Ryan that this would be examined in 2007.

(4) DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTIONS LEVY

Mr Breen informed the meeting that the Development Levy Scheme was in operation for approximately 2½ years at the end of August and a total of €4,653,000 was received over this period. He also gave the members a breakdown of expenditure at 31st August, 2006 over the various schemes/projects.

He indicated that the funds received from levies in respect of water facilities were adequate but funds received for the following two categories were very limited:

  • Town / village improvements, car parking / roads
  • Libraries, museum and community/cultural development.

Mr Breen stated that it was necessary to get a better balance for the needs of the community to channel more funding to this area. Ms Tuohy expressed appreciation for the funds received for Aclare Sewerage Scheme.

Mr Healy queried if the money collected in a particular area was spent in that area. Mr Breen informed him that the funding received was to meet the needs of the County and money collected was not channelled to one specific area but that all parts of the County will benefit from the levies.

Cllr Barry suggested that the Local Authority work in co-operation with the Clár funding, thus resulting in better value for money. Cllr Barry referred to the fact that €80,000 was spent on the Service Land Initiative in Grange but that very little was spent on the initiative in Strandhill, despite the fact that substantial funds would have been received.

Cllr McLoughlin recommended that a plan be put in place for the provision and funding of community facilities. The members were informed that there were proposals to appoint an officer to draw up a needs assessment for Play and Recreational Facilities. Cllr Barry stated that a scheme should be devised which would benefit the County. Mr Breen informed the meeting that funding received from Development Levies had to be used specifically for capital works. The Draft Development Contribution Scheme was noted and agreed.

Ms Tuohy referred to the provision of decking under the Village Enhancement Scheme in Aclare and the fact that the lighting system was not installed. She also indicated that the grass was growing between the paving bricks.

Mr Breen undertook to have these issues examined.

(5) SLIGO PORT DEVELOPMENT

In discussing the development of Sligo Port and the forthcoming study trip to view Derry City, Mr Breen informed the meeting that they were examining works carried out in other ports and that it was possible that the private sector may get involved. He also indicated that it would be necessary to examine staffing structures specifically for this project as it required designated staff. He informed the members that further information would be available at the next meeting.

Mr Forkan indicated that Mr Carolan had already done a considerable amount of work on the project. He also conveyed his best wishes to Mr Carolan. Mr Healy suggested that the committee should have a look at other port projects.

(6) PROGRESS ON DEVELOPMENT PLANS

The Tubbercurry Local Area Plan – Ms Davidescu circulated a calendar of dates for the plan but indicated that the dates outlined were tentative and may have to be modified, depending on the Development Planning Unit staffing, Council meeting adjournments, members’ requirements, etc.

Cllr Devins complimented the staff involved in the mini plan process and also the people who made submissions. Cllr Devins queried the time frame for the preparation of a miniplan for Rosses Point.

Mr Healy expressed concern that if the Rosses Point mini-plan did not proceed, the perception would be that Rosses Point did not want social housing.

Cllr Barry indicated that school numbers were falling and there was no big pressure for development in Rosses Point. Mr Breen stated that plans need to be done in an orderly fashion and not specifically for social housing. Ms Meagher stated that there was a real need to prepare plans for areas under severe pressure.

Cllr Barry referred to the Grange Mini-Plan and stated that very little had happened since the Development Plan in Grange. Stats were not reached and land deals were dead. Mr Forkan indicated that a detailed plan was being prepared for North Sligo and that the Port would also have to take precedence.

(7) MINI PLANS

Ms Davidescu informed the meeting that the members adopted the proposed variations (i.e. 3 mini plans) with modifications on 11th September, 2006. She indicated that significant modifications consisted of rezoning or zoning additional lands for development as follows:

  • Carney: 8.8ha (21.74ac) residential development for additional 625 new residents
  • Coolaney: 4.3ha (10.6ac) residential development for additional 302 new residents
  • Dromore West: 9.5ha (23.47ac) residential development for additional 664 new residents

She confirmed that the adopted variations/mini-plans would be published officially on 2nd October, 2006.

Following a discussion regarding the modifications Ms Davidescu informed the meeting that the significant modifications, related to the zoning of lands, that were subject to submissions during the consultation process and that the public had in effect seen the plans.

(8) RURAL HOUSING

Cllr Devins stated that he had a problem with “Housing Need” under the policy but had found Mr Stephen Ward very amenable to any representation he had made.

Cllr Barry and Cllr McLoughlin complimented the Planning Authority on the progress being made. Cllr Barry stated that the public were not happy and that the definition of “Housing Need” was hard to define. He expressed concern at the period of six months allowed for an extension of time.

Mr Moylan agreed that it was frustrating the process when an applicant requested an extension of time and then failed to make any further submission (additional outstanding issues etc.) within the specified six month period. This was occurring on an all too frequent basis. Mr Moylan agreed to consider the issuing of shorter extension of time periods in certain cases.

In relation to occupancy condition, Mr Moylan informed the members that the wording of the occupancy condition was derived from the suggested wording outlined in the Department of Environment, Rural Housing Guidelines. It is only used in certain cases e.g. rural areas under urban influence and Mr Forkan added that the occupancy clause is a condition that allows planning permission to be granted.

(9) DRAFT SIGNAGE POLICY

The Draft Policy on advertising signs was circulated to the members. The members were informed that the legislation pertaining to the policy was complex. The aim of the document was to clarify what the public can do and also to inform staff. In view of the fact that the document was not fully completed it was agreed that this item would be further discussed at a future meeting of the committee.

(10) ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Cllr McLoughlin congratulated Cllr Colleary on Curry’s great success in winning the County Senior Football Championship.

The meeting then concluded.

No date for the next meeting was fixed.


Meeting Date 25/09/2006