The elected members of Mayo County Council this week approved the draft planning scheme for a new Strategic Development Zone (SDZ ) at Ireland West Airport Knock.
The SDZ around the airport will be the only rural SDZ in the country. SDZs were established in 2000 to enable Government to designate certain parcels of land that are considered of strategic national importance, to be fast-tracked through the planning process. Ireland West Airport Knock received approval for the designation of lands for the establishment of an SDZ by order of the government in May 2017.
The proposed SDZ will provide for a new business and enterprise hub. This will be in the form of a campus aiming to cultivate and establish new business and innovative industries that harness the benefits of living and doing business in the West of Ireland. There will be an emphasis on those requiring a link to the airport. It will facilitate hotel and conference facilities that complement the business climate of the airport location.
The SDZ Scheme, if built out to full capacity, could deliver 95,025sq.m of commercial, business and enterprise space, 44,000sq.m of aviation economic development and services, and 11,000sq.m of hotel accommodation and conference floor-space. It will have the potential to deliver future employment capacity of almost 4,200 persons.
Peter Hynes, chief executive at Mayo County Council, stated; "Having a Strategic Development Zone of national significance based at Ireland West Airport Knock opens up a variety of opportunities for the county and the West region. Very few areas are given SDZ designation outside of major cities. Making this planning scheme creates opportunities for Mayo and the region to attract business and investment. The SDZ will secure the long-term development of Ireland West Airport Knock as well as attracting enterprise to the area and the provision of further employment possibilities for the people of Mayo and beyond."
The planning scheme for the SDZ will come into effect four weeks from the date it is made/agreed by elected members of Mayo County Council.
Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport, added: "The airport welcomes the progress made in relation to the Strategic Development Zone at Ireland West Airport. We would like to thank Mayo County Council for their work to date and in working with the airport on the development of the Master plan required to complete the zoning and we look forward to the completion of the project which will provide planning certainty for potential developments that may take place at the airport in the future."