1 - Economic Development and Planning Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 1 (Economic Development & Planning Policy) of Sligo County Council held at 4.00pm on Wednesday 30th April, 2008 in the County Council Members Room, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo.


  • Councillor T. McLoughlin,
  • Councillor P. Barry,
  • Councillor S. Kilgannon,
  • Councillor S. MacManus,


  • G. Healy, Chamber of Commerce
  • N. O’Driscoll, Ballisodare Community Council
  • D. Breen, Director of Services
  • M. Carty, Senior Executive Engineer
  • S. Ryan, Heritage Officer
  • D. McDonagh, Acting Administrative Officer
  • D. Finnegan, Acting Assistant Staff Officer
  • F. Redmond, Acting Senior Executive Planner
  • F. Moylan, Acting Senior Planner
  • M. Davidescu, Acting Senior Executive Planner


  • Councillor D. Healy McGowan
  • Councillor J. Devins
  • R. McNulty, Director of Services
  • J. McNamara, Administrative Officer
  • M. Keenan, Construction Industry Federation
  • P. Gallagher, Senior Executive Officer
  • Councillor A. Colleary


Cathaoirleach Councillor Tony McLoughlin, presided.


Proposed: Councillor S. MacManus
Seconded: Councillor T. McLoughlin
And agreed: “that the minutes of Strategic Policy Committee No.1 meeting held on 20th February, 2008 be confirmed”.

Councillor McLoughlin welcomed Fiona Redmond on her position as Acting Senior Executive Planner in Sligo County Council and he congratulated F. Moylan on his position as Acting Senior Planner.


There were no matters arising.


M. Davidescu updated members on the Development Plan and Local Area Plan Work Programme 2008, report circulated to members.  She indicated that work on the Tobercurry LAP will resume as soon as resources permit.  As a Gateway priority project, a Local Area Plan will be prepared for the Docklands area, following the adoption of the new SEDP 2009-2015. It is proposed to hold non-statutory public consultation in relation to the Docklands Plan in July-August 2008. The Docklands LAP will include a masterplan for the area.  The indicative deadline for adopting the Docklands LAP is October 2010.

In relation to the review of the Sligo & Environs Development Plan 2004-2010, 289 submissions were received, which can be considered a very good response.  These submissions were complex in nature and it appeared that an individual response to each submission may be necessary.  The First Manager’s Report is expected to be submitted to Members in June 2008.

A Housing Strategy and a Retail Planning Strategy must be prepared as part of the new SEDP 2009-2015 and specialist consultants have been procured to prepare them.  Environmental Consultants have also been retained to undertake the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Draft SEDP and scope the environmental report relating to the forthcoming Docklands LAP (SEA scoping).

Councillor MacManus queried the need for individual responses to the submissions and he acknowledged this would be a time-consuming process.  M. Davidescu indicated that the submissions dealt with detailed matters and queries that were not specifically addressed now would re-appear again at a later stage.  D. Breen stated that responses will be made available on the website for viewing.  It was confirmed that the Manager’s Report would be published and be publicly available.

Councillor MacManus asked the cost involved in relation to the environmental consultants carrying out the SEA.  M. Davidescu mentioned that it was approx. €50,000, which was comparatively low.

Councillor Kilgannon questioned whether development would be held up in the Docklands area while waiting for the Local Area Plan to be completed.  F. Moylan indicated that planning applications can be made and assessed based on the current SEDP. However, if development is planned in the North Fringe area, it may be more beneficial to wait for the North Fringe LAP.  D. Breen stated that the Docklands is an important area and the LAP will promote higher-quality future development.

Councillor McLoughlin queried what the situation was in relation to the leases on buildings in the Docklands area and Mr. Breen indicated that work was ongoing in relation to the varied leases.

Councillor McLoughlin raised the issue of out-of-town retail and mentioned there was frustration with the lack of progress in the town centre area.  There is great potential for development on the outskirts.  F. Moylan mentioned that submissions were received in relation to the lack of out-of-town facilities and that a proposed Draft Retail Strategy should be available at the end of August 2008.  He also indicated that the planners would examine the issue of maintaining a balance of development between the north and south areas of the town.  At present, the southern area seems to dominate


D. McDonagh outlined the Draft Play Policy which was previously circulated to members.  There are currently 13 playgrounds in County Sligo and there are other play opportunities available through the Local Authorities, Library and Arts Services and Sligo Sport & Recreational Partnership.  The eight objectives of the Play Policy are based on those of the National Play Policy.  This draft policy has also been put forward to SPC4.  Councillor S. Kilgannon complemented those involved in compiling the draft policy.  No other issues were raised.  The policy was agreed.


M. Carty updated members on the draft revised Burial Ground Policy 2006-2010 which incorporates the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004.  He indicated that there will be a more detailed submission produced at a later date which will be brought before this SPC.  Councillor Barry commented that burial ground space was becoming a countywide problem.  M. Carty stated that at the March 2008 Council Meeting the Councillors had approved a loan to assist in achieving the objectives set out in the burial ground policy.  N. O’Driscoll queried what procedure was in place to make an inactive burial ground active.  In reply, M. Carty mentioned that inactive burial grounds usually indicated that there was no more grave space available and that the burial ground may be linked to heritage issues.  Councillor McLoughlin indicated that Scarden Cemetery Committee (privately owned Cemetery) and Kilmacowen Cemetery Committee were in talks regarding the provision of a new burial ground in the future. 


The Study Tour to Bilbao has now been organised and D. Breen mentioned that representatives from the Local Authority, Port Authority, Local Regeneration Companies and the Chamber of Commerce in Bilbao will be available to meet with the Sligo delegation on their visit.  He expressed thanks to Janet McNamara and Kevin Colreavy for their involvement in organising the event.  Councillor Tony McLoughlin also complimented those involved in arranging the tour.

Councillor T. McLoughlin had to leave the meeting due to a prior engagement and Councillor S. Kilgannon chaired the remainder of the meeting on his behalf – proposed by Councillor S. MacManus and seconded by Councillor P. Barry.


M. Carty outlined Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Fund Applications, report circulated to members.   Under its Tourism Product Development Programme 2007-2013 Infrastructural Fund, M. Carty listed the proposals to be considered for submission by Sligo Local Authorities as follows:

  1. Iconic Dartry Range walking route
  2. Rosses Point Coastal Walk
  3. Drumcliffe Looped Walk
  4. Enniscrone Coastal Walk
  5. Enhancements Knocknarae Mountain Walk Environmental Management Project
  6. Cleveragh Tourist Trail

In addition, Failte Ireland has also called for applications under the Tourism Capital Investment Programme (Attractions & Activities).  Closing date for these submissions is 30 April 2008.  Proposals submitted by SLAs are as follows:

  1. Elements of Cultural Quarter
  2. Doorly Water Sports Park
  3. Knox Park Activity Trail
  4. Angling Strands throughout County

Fáilte Ireland are reviewing applications at present and if applications are successful the project may receive up to 75% funding with the remainder to be supplemented by the local authorities own resources. 


There were no further items raised.

The meeting concluded at 5pm.

Meeting Date 30/04/2008