Calls For Clare’s County Development Plan To Be Adjusted To Account For Population Surge

Photo (c) Clare County Council

Calls have been made for the Clare County Development plan to be adjusted to account for a surge in population over the past two years.

It follows a warning from the Minister for Integration that the Government needs to prepare for more than 80,000 migrants, who plan on seeking refuge in Ireland this year.

Clare County Council has prepared a Draft Clare County Development Plan for 2023 to 2029, which covers a number of areas including housing, retail, protected structures and wind energy.



It was due to go out to public consultation in November, but it hit a stumbling block when concerns were raised over limitations relating to housing.

The Council is now seeking legal advice on the plan on aspects of population allocation following requests from elected representatives.

Like all County Development Plans, it’s based on 2016 Census figures, which had already been surpassed in the 2021 Census.

Concerns are now emerging that population changes post-pandemic have rendered the plan inadequate.

It’s believed many people re-located to Clare once the option to work from home came on stream.

In addition to this, there are now just over 4,000 displaced Ukranian’s living in this county, and officials now believe 60% of Ukrainian refugees who came to Ireland will stay here after the war ends.

Clare’s Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway doesn’t think the plan should be ripped up, but he believes current projections need to be adjusted, particularly for North Clare.

The Government’s Housing For All strategy aims to build 30,000 new homes across the country this year.

Clare’s Fianna Fáil Senator believes, however, there needs to be greater action on building homes, due to the expectation that there will be continuous upward pressure on housing need for up to 7 years.

Timmy Dooley believes the required financial resources are in place, but what’s missing is an action plan to make things happen quickly.

Listen back to the full interview here: