Airport strategic development zone progressing

Plans to develop a Strategic Development Zone at Ireland West Airport are progressing, a meeting of the Swinford electoral area committee heard this week.

The process of developing such a zone was initiated by committee chairman and council Cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Mellett “to get around outside parties hindering the development of the airport”.

Cllr Mellett said An Taisce are currently objecting to a building at the airport and he said others continue objecting to developments because “they don’t want any development in the west for alternative motives”.

Mr Paddy Mahon, director of services for the area, explained that an application was sent to the Department of the Environment in March who in turn sought supplementary information. This information was supplied to the department in October and the council are awaiting a reply.

Mr Mahon explained that the SDZ will benefit not only Mayo, both socially and economically, but Roscommon and Sligo also.

Local consultation was carried out with the 16 landowners and their response was generally positive, Mr Mahon outlined.

Cllr Gerry Murray, who also met with the local landowners, said he would prefer if a local area plan was being developed rather than an SDZ. He said the landbanks will increase in value but landowners have expressed concerns about possible CPOs of their land, which is provided for in the SDZ. He added that Mr Ian Douglas, the council’s senior planner, will be further briefing the landowners.

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