1 - Economic Development and Planning Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 1 (Economic Development and Planning Policy) held at 3.00pm on 14th February 2013 in the Members’ Room, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo


  • Councillor Jim McGarry (Chair),
  • Councillor Sean MacManus,
  • Councillor Matt Lyons,
  • Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady,
  • Councillor Thomas Collery,
  • Councillor Deirdre Healy McGowan,
  • Councillor Gerard Queenan



  • Frank Moylan, A/Senior Planner,
  • Pat Doyle, Project Engineer, Harbour Office,
  • Mihaela Davidescu, A/Senior Executive Planner,
  • Mary McAuliffe, Programme Director, Creative State Northwest,
  • Kevin Colreavy, Administrative Officer



It was proposed by Councillor MacManus, seconded by Councillor Lyons, and agreed, that ‘The minutes of the Strategic Policy Committee meeting held on 13th December 2012, be confirmed.’



There were no matters arising



Mary McAuliffe, Programme Director, Creative State Northwest, presented a report on the project. Ms McAuliffe outlined the benefits of the ‘4CNW Talent’ initiative, which aims to establish new linkages between the creative sector and four key industry sectors:  Agri-food, Life Science, Technology and Tourism. It was hoped to develop a new model for measuring creative industries impact as a catalyst for economic growth.

The details of the ‘Talent Voucher’ Scheme were discussed, whereby funding to a maximum of €5,000 was provided to eligible applicants.

In response to a query from Councillor O Grady, Ms McAuliffe advised that the new signage for the Model was very important in terms of their plans to diversify their income by merchandising etc.

In response to a query from Councillor MacManus, Ms McAuliffe advised that Sligo County Council’s contribution for the ‘Voucher Fund’ amounted to €5,000.

Chair Councillor McGarry commended Ms McAuliffe on the presentation, and noted that any project aimed at creating employment or supporting local businesses should be encouraged.



Ms Davidescu, A/Senior Executive Planner presented a report on the Draft Strandhill Mini-Plan;  The Plan, which is a proposed variation of the Sligo County Development Plan 2011-2017, was placed on public display on 22 January 2013. The Draft Mini-Plan consists of a written statement (settlement profile and development objectives) and a set of maps, and is accompanied by several supporting documents:

Ms Davidescu advised that a two-month pre-draft consultation has been conducted in summer 2012. There were 30 submissions received at that stage, which were taken into consideration when preparing the Draft Mini-Plan. The current consultation on the Draft Mini-Plan is being carried out for a period of 6 weeks, i.e. until 5 March 2013.

The submissions and observations received by 5 March will be summarised in a Manager’s Report, which will make recommendations to the elected members in relation to possible modifications of the Draft Plan, where necessary. It is intended that The Manager’s Report will be submitted to the Members in Mid-April for consideration at the Ordinary May Meeting.

The meeting discussed proposals for ‘mixed use zoning’ and the proposed re-zoning of land to the east of the Airport Road for community facilities.

In response to a query from Councillor Healy McGowan, Ms Davidescu advised that no submissions had been received to date and that those that had made submissions at pre-draft stage should be advised to make a new submission on the draft plan.

Councillor Healy McGowan expressed concern at the cost being imposed on community groups by the requirement to prepare environmental reports and referred the proposed development on the Airport Road; F Moylan, A/Senior Planner noted that the Natura Impact Statement was requested on a current planning application and was separate to the process of preparing the Draft Mini-Plan.  The NIS is required regardless of the zoning of the site and is necessary because of the site’s location within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Councillor MacManus said he was perturbed at the situation faced by the local community in their efforts to provide and enhance community facilities. In response to a query from Councillor MacManus, Mr Moylan advised that the quality of the information supporting the proposed development particularly with regard to the assessment of the potential impacts on the designated site would be of significance in the success or otherwise of the planning application.

The meeting was advised that, in accordance with the Land Use Matrix contained in the Mini-Plan, community facilities were ‘open to consideration’ in lands zoned as a ‘Buffer Zone’.



Mr Pat Doyle, Project Engineer, confirmed that the application documents for Harbour Maintenance works and Capital Dredging Scheme have been received from RPS, Consulting Engineers, and will be placed on public display.

The meeting was advised that the general appearances of the buildings along Ballast Quay have improved with change in business operations and this is helping the overall appearance of the Docklands.  Routine maintenance and clean up is ongoing on a daily basis, and the former Cattle Lairage site was cleared with the objective of its use as a temporary Borough Yard. The yard is now in operation since the 2 January 2013 as the municipal yard.

In terms of shipping traffic, Mr Doyle advised that were three ships due in the cuurent month. The Floating Pontoon is operating at capacity, and winter storage of 30 boats has taken place.

The Council has submitted a number of applications to the Department of Transport for pier improvements, including a request for funding a report on an extension to the Floating Pontoon. A request has also been submitted for the provision of a small pontoon at RossesPoint.

In response to a query from Chair Councillor McGarry, Mr Doyle noted that lack of storage facilities prevented the import of major consignments of oil through the harbour.



The next meeting of the Committee will take place at 3.00pm on Thursday 18th April 2013, Members’ Room.




Meeting Date 13/02/2013