Chapter 5 - Sustainable Communities

Open15 Oct, 2022, 8:00am - 28 Nov, 2022, 5:00pm

5.1 Sustainable Communities - Introduction

Community infrastructure of a social, sporting, educational, and amenity value are crucial to provide opportunities for inclusion of all community members and provides benefits to health and helps attract inward investment. Higher level spatial plans promote the 10 Minute Town Concept seeking to have all community facilities and services accessible within a 10 minute walk or cycle from homes or are accessible by public transport services connecting people to larger scaled settlements.   In addition, developing the infrastructure for the development of sustainable communities is one of the best ways to address climate change enabling communities themselves to transition to a low carbon society.


Fig 5.1 Caherconlish Playground

High quality social and community services in an area makes for a more attractive place that encourages the establishment of new business and where people choose to live. The Local Authority is committed to the provision, upgrade and expansion of community facilities and social infrastructure in conjunction with private, public and voluntary organisations.  Limerick City and County Council’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) performs a role in developing, coordinating and implementing a coherent and integrated approach to local and community development, through the Local Economic and Community Plan 2016 - 2021 (LECP) and any subsequent updates.                                                                                               

Ireland’s aging population is also evident in Caherconlish.  From 2011 to 2016, the percentage of the population of the village in the age bracket 65+ doubled from 6% to 12%.  Limerick City and County Council adopted strategy “Age Friendly Limerick 2015-2020” which commits to improving key areas of infrastructure, services, information and an overall social response to older person’s issues. The need to cater for those wishing to downsize and reside in proximity to services and amenities is anticipated to grow into the future. These facilities should be located in existing residential areas on sites with good access to a broad range of services for elderly persons.

Policy C P1: Social and Recreational Infrastructure Community and Recreational Facilities - It is the policy of the Council to:

Ensure that planning applications for social infrastructure and recreational infrastructure demonstrate climate resilience measures to climate-proof critical infrastructure.

Objective C O1: Expansion of Community and Education Facilities - It is an objective of the Council to:

Ensure provision of sufficient zoned lands to facilitate the expansion of existing and provision of new education, sports clubs, cultural facilities, healthcare facilities and community infrastructure in appropriate locations.  The Council promote multi-purpose spaces and co-use of recreational facilities.

5.2 Community and Education Facilities

5.2.1 Education and Childcare

Caherconlish has a number of well-established community and social facilities and has many active community groups operating within the village involved in a wide range of activities including sports, arts and culture, local history and heritage, youth, environmental and local development. These groups have been very successful in delivering a number of community projects, including a community playground and have recently obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of Caherconlish tennis club. In addition, the Caherconlish Tidy Towns group have been granted permission for a heritage project in the village square.   The Council will seek to support community-led projects that enhance the well-being of the community and cultural projects that create a sense of place/enhance public spaces within the village. 

There is currently one national school within the settlement of Caherconlish with an enrolment in 2021/22 of 114 students. Caherconlish National School has limited capacity to expand. To facilitate the provision of any future expansion, lands opposite the existing school have been zoned for community and education use.

There are two providers offering preschool services within Caherconlish and in addition an after school (school going age) service operated from Caherconlish Community Centre.  All preschool and afterschool facilities currently operating in Caherconlish are seasonal. There is no purpose built crèche despite the growth in the number of young children with parents availing of this service in adjoining settlements.  

Objective C O2: Childcare and Educational Facilities - It is the objective of the Council to:

a) Support and facilitate improvements to existing educational and childcare and facilities within Caherconlish

b) Ensure that there are sufficient educational and community facilities to meet the needs generated by proposed developments, by requiring the completion of a Sustainability Statement and Social Infrastructure Assessment for residential developments of 10 or more dwellings.

c) Ensure that childcare and education facilities are provided in tandem with new residential areas, at accessible locations, which maximise opportunities for walking, cycling and use of public transport and comply with all relevant standards.

d) Facilitate the development of lifelong learning facilities and digital capacity for distance learning.

5.2.2 Health

There is a HSE Health Centre operating within the settlement in Templemichael. The primary role of the Planning Authority with regard to healthcare is to ensure that (a) there is an adequate policy framework in place inclusive of the reservation of lands, should additional services be required and (b) healthcare facilities would be permitted in line with planning requirements. The Council will continue to support further economic and social progress with regard to health services, including capital investment in community and continuing care services at the HSE (West) Health Clinic in Caherconlish.

5.2.3 Parks, Open Space and Recreation

Public open spaces and sports and recreational facilities are key elements in ensuring a good quality of life is achieved for all members of the community.  The village of Caherconlish is currently served by a range of community facilities, including a soccer pitch, a playground and a health centre. The village also has a GAA ground and tennis court (albeit outside the LAP Boundary).  In 2021, Caherconlish Tennis Club, located on the Ballyneety Road, received planning permission for the construction of a new clubhouse, multi-use astro turf courts and a sensory garden.  In addition, the local Millennium Centre, includes a sports arena, large hall and meeting rooms. The Centre provides for a number of additional community services including a parent and toddler group, youth club, pilates, badminton and a music school.

Fig 5.2 Newly constructed section of Creamery Walk

The recently constructed ‘Creamery Walk’, funded through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, connects a walking loop from the village to the Old Creamery on High Street and linking back into the village, on the R513.  The funding provided for the provision of the safe pedestrian access from Caherconlish National School is a welcomed and well-used addition to the village.

Objective C O3: Community Facilities  It is an objective of the Council to:

Support and facilitate the provision of multi-functional community facilities to meet the needs of the population of Caherconlish.

Objective C O4: New Amenity Areas and Walkways - It is the objective of the Council to:

Continue to facilitate the development of walkways as indicated on the Amenity and Sustainable Transport Map (Appendix 1) in co-operation with local interested parties including the private, voluntary and public sector. Any proposed development adjacent to such walkways must incorporate connecting pathways into the designated walkway in their design. Developments shall be designed to ensure that properties over look proposed walkways.

Fig. 5.3 Opportunity Site 1

Public open space is an integral part of any residential development. A variety of types and sizes of public open space should be provided with natural passive surveillance by the residents. Residential development should incorporate appropriate provision of quality public open space and play lots in accordance with the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028. The following table provides a hierarchy of Open Space within residential estates.

Table 5.1: Open Space Hierarchy within Residential Estates

Type of Public Open



Accessibility from

residential units



Play lot/ pocket

Park: primarily

catering for play for

younger children


400m2 - 0.2 ha.


Every home within

100m walking



  • All residential areas in excess of 50 units should incorporate a play lot provided at a rate of 4sqm per residential unit;
  • Play lot should be overlooked with sufficient passive surveillance by as many houses as possible;
  • Not permitted to side or rear of dwellings;
  • Developer will be required to provide a minimum of two permanent play low maintenance features on site. The design shall reflect nature based play solutions.

Small Park

0.2 ha.- 2 ha.

Every residential

unit within 400m

walking distance


  • To accommodate a small playground with a minimum of 4 play features, kick around space, and passive recreation;
  • Must be overlooked with passive surveillance by as many houses as is practicable;
  • Not permitted to side or rear of dwellings.

Local Park

2 ha. - 20 ha.

Residences to be

within 1km


  • To accommodate a wide range of uses including playing pitches, teenage space, passive recreation and biodiversity areas.