€2 billion plan for new town raises boundary extension call

Cllr Kieran O'Hanlon pictured in St John's Square Limerick. Pictured Credit Brian Gavin Press 22

PLANS to invest €2 billion to develop a new town that will result in the creation of up to 3,500 jobs on the University Limerick campus have been welcomed this week.

But the announcement that work will start in 2021 has prompted a former Mayor of Limerick to call for a boundary extension into Clare.

Limerick city east Fine Fáil councillor Kieran O’Hanlon told a metropolitan district meeting of Limerick City and Council this week that he is “sick of Clare piggybacking on all the hard work put in by Limerick”.

He said that he welcomed progress and job creation “but now Clare is planning to develop right up to the borders of Limerick.

“The last time we looked for an extension, we were told that not an inch of Shannon Banks or Westbury would move out of Clare. We need this boundary extension now”.

The development will be the first of its kind and will have a  mix of academic and private commercial facilities.

Clare County Council now has to apply for planning permission to re-designate the use of the 325-acre site to allow for the development.

The 3,500 jobs are predicted to be created in the first seven years in areas such as financial services, medical developments and technology.

Further jobs will be created in the construction phase.

The whole project will be led by a single developer, who will raise the finance, The local authority will be responsible for providing the infrastructure.

The planned Northern Distributor Road will be vital to the plan to give access to the campus on the Clare side. It is also planned to regenerate the canal as part of the proposal.