Limerick South Environs Local Area Plan 2011 – 2021
The Southern Environs Local Area Plan is a legal document and is a public statement of planning policies. It is valid for six years from the date of adoption by the Council. It was extended in May 2016 for a further five years to May 2021.
Limerick Twenty Thirty
Limerick is undergoing an unprecedented, transformative and dynamic revitalization that is repositioning it as an extremely attractive European destination to invest, work and live in. The remarkable economic and social renaissance underway here is changing the face of the city and county and leading the transformation of the Mid-West of Ireland into a national and international economic powerhouse. – from limerick2030.ie
First steps in Mid-West’s largest planned residential development underway with Limerick Twenty Thirty
The first step towards one of the largest planned residential projects outside the capital has been taken with the announcement that Limerick Twenty Thirty (LTT) is to develop 850 units at Mungret.
The project, as part of a wider programme of investment in public and private housing, will add further momentum to Limerick’s emergence over recent years as a destination of choice for inward investment. A wholly owned subsidiary of Limerick City and County Council, LTT will now embark on master-planning the site and seeking planning permission for the development, which will also strengthen the city and region’s contribution to effective economic development across the island.
The 60 acre site is located on the grounds of the former Mungret College and associated buildings. In all, the site has the potential to accommodate in the region of 850 residential units, which would make it one of Ireland’s largest planned developments. The 200 unit first phase of the development is expected to be completed by end of 2021.
The project will be developed in parallel with the commercial sites already being advanced by LTT, which is tasked with planning and developing key strategic sites in Limerick City and County that will act as anchors for enterprise and investment locally.
Mungret is a priority area within the Limerick Metropolitan district and is a zoned urban extension of Limerick city under the Southern Environs Local Area Plan.
The site has recently received approval for funding through the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) for a distributor road through Mungret, which will unlock substantial lands within public and private ownership and trigger the development of additional residential sites, supporting community and employment uses.
The approval of funding also demonstrates a joint commitment by Limerick City and County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to the continued investment in housing delivery for Limerick.
Submission from Derek O’Dwyer, 12th July 2018, to Limerick Council to protest their latest Masterplan to allow for 7,500 new homes to be built under the plume of the Cement Kiln in Mungret.
To whom it may concern,
I attended the recent presentation to local residents of the Strategic Masterplan for Mungret. My compliments to the project team. It was great to see an ambitious plan that includes high density housing, social inclusion, new roads, bus routes and cycle paths as well as conservation of Mungret’s rich archaeological heritage.
Of course there’s an enormous difference between an ambitious masterplan and a successful outcome, especially when we’re talking about a community of 750 new homes and ultimately, I understand, up to 7,500 homes in total.
One might assess the chances of the Masterplan’s success by looking at other projects delivered down through the years by our local authority. Contrast the wonderful amenity that is Mungret Park or the new homes on Edward Street with our car-centric city centre, our suburban sprawl, historic planning failures like Moyross and Southill, our fragmented cycle-network or our shambolic public transport services and it’s clear that we’ll need to up our game if anything close to the Masterplan’s vision is to be realised.
If the jury is out on our chances of success, on one point we can be absolutely certain. This project will fail if we attempt to house 7,500 families under the plume of an Industrial incinerator.
Our local authority granted planning permission to Irish Cement in 2016 to burn 114 types of industrial waste without assessing the risk, indeed without even reading the company’s coded waste list. At last years’ Hearing with An Bord Pleanala the city planners initially defended their approval of Irish Cement’s industrial incineration plans. In the end, however, their barrister had to acknowledge that they’d accepted Irish Cement’s Environmental Impact Statement without even reading the list, let alone understanding the impact of each item.
Likewise, the HSE didn’t decode the list or carry out a comprehensive Human Health Risk Assessment. Their perfunctory assessment involved asking Health England for an opinion on the risks of burning tyres only. The HSE were quick to endorse Irish Cement’s plans in a most uninformed, unscientific way, not having read the list of materials to be incinerated. It appears in retrospect that their support of the incinerator was a foregone conclusion. The HSE still don’t understand the possible risks from dioxin emissions in Mungret on human health or on the food chain. They have no explanation for the fact that Limerick has the country’s highest rate of pulmonary mortality.
Recent Dáil questions from Deputies Willie O’Dea and Niall Collins have shown that neither the HSE nor the EPA have a legal responsibility to assess and mitigate the human health risk of industrial developments. Will Limerick 2030’s planners now shoulder this responsibility when they publish and attempt to deliver their detailed plans that might ultimately put the health of 750 families in jeopardy in the face of these unknowns?
Although An Bord Pleanala, under intense public pressure, have since denied Irish Cement the right to use almost 40% of the waste categories they’d planned to incinerate, the EPA are still considering the company’s license application, including the burning of corrosive Red Mud from Foynes.
The EPA issued a fresh license to Irish Cement in November 2017, when after years of negotiation, deferments and re-evaluation, it was deemed that CRH had at last scraped across the line to meet the baseline standards for Cement Manufacturing mandated by the European Union since 2012. With the ink still wet on that license, how can we contemplate this level of residential development while the EPA consider allowing Irish Cement to hugely increase the risk profile of their operation by incinerating industrial waste in an old cement kiln?
We can have a vibrant community of 7,500 new homes or we can have suburban Industrial Incineration in a 30 year old Cement Kiln. We can’t have both.
This unprofessional, lazily-made Council decision will sabotage its own ambitions before the first sod in Mungret has been turned and could certainly come back to haunt the planners of this development.
We need a Mungret development embargo and a vastly heightened dust and dioxin measurement, mitigation and enforcement regime if the incineration plans are to go ahead.
Alternatively, we can launch an exciting suburban masterplan and absolutely prevent Irish Cement’s dirty, greedy, risky ambitions.
But we can’t have it both ways.