Chapter 1 - Introduction
A Local Area Plan (LAP) is a statutory document prepared by the Planning Authority, in accordance with the requirements of Section 20 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), hereafter referred to as “the Act”. The Patrickswell Local Area Plan 2015-2021 was extended until 2024 under Section 19 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).
This Draft LAP sets out a land use strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of Patrickswell to 2030, whilst complying with the provisions of higher-level Local, Regional and National spatial plans. The LAP consists of a written statement and maps indicating objectives for zoning of land, residential and economic development, community infrastructure, built and natural heritage, open space and recreation, active travel and transport, environmental protection and climate change/adaptation and mitigation. This Draft Plan also includes a Settlement Capacity Audit, which identifies the quantum, location and availability of services for the land zoned for Residential and Enterprise and Employment in the Plan. The making of the new LAP is a reserved function. As the local area plan boundary extends over two Municipal Districts (both the Limerick Metropolitan Area and the Municipal District of Adare-Rathkeale), the making of the Patrickswell Local Area Plan 2024-2030 is a reserved function of the full Limerick City and County Council.
The Draft Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), in a manner consistent with the policies and objectives of the higher tier National Planning Framework (NPF), Regional and Spatial Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES) and the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028.
Preparation of the LAP has been informed by and is consistent with Ministerial Guidelines issued pursuant to Section 28 of the Act, together with EU requirements with respect to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) as set out under Section 1.5 below.
Section 20 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) sets out the process for the making of a Local Area Plan as outlined in Figure 1.1 below.
Figure 1.1: LAP Preparation - Key Stages
1.2.1 First Issues Stage
The formal process for the preparation of the Draft Local Area Plan commenced on 4th of February 2023, with the publication of a Pre-Draft Issues Paper. This Issues Paper related to the non-statutory “Pre-Draft” stage of the LAP preparation process as outlined in Figure 1.1 above. The Issues Paper aimed to highlight local issues and encourage interest and debate on the future development of Patrickswell. Submissions or observations were invited until 6th of March 2023, during which time 27 no. submissions were received.
Public consultation during this stage included the publication of the Issues Paper, a schools consultation programme with students from Patrickswell National School on the 21st of February 2023, a public consultation evening at Patrickswell GAA Hall on the 22nd of February 2023 and an online social media campaign to engage the public throughout the submission period. Figure 1.2: Pre-Draft Issues Paper issued February 2023 and Promotional Tools
Figure 1.3: Patrickswell National School Consultation Programme
1.2.2 Draft Local Area Plan
The publication of the Draft Plan will be followed by six weeks of public consultation, which will take place between the 2nd of September to the 16th of October. During this time, written submissions will be invited and will be considered and responded to in a Chief Executive’s Report, which will be issued to the Elected Members of Limerick City and County Council. Following consideration of the Draft Plan and Chief Executive’s Report by the Elected Members, and subject to any Material Alterations proposed, there will be an additional public consultation period. The Planning Authority envisages that the final Plan will be adopted in early 2024.
The LAP must be consistent with the objectives of the higher-level spatial plans, including the NPF, RSES and the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028. When interpreting the objectives of the Plan for Patrickswell, it is essential that both the Limerick Development Plan 2022–2028 and the Draft Patrickswell LAP are read together.
As set out under the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES), Patrickswell forms part of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area and comes within the scope of the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP). The MASP seeks to strengthen the role of the Metropolitan Area as an international location of scale and a primary driver of economic and population growth in the Southern Region.
Figure 1.4: Spatial Plan Hierarchy
Policy I O1 - Spatial Planning: It is a policy of the Council to:
Ensure that provisions of the Draft Patrickswell Local Area Plan 2024 – 2030 for population and economic growth align with the policies and objectives of the higher-level spatial plans, such as the National Planning Framework (NPF), the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES) and the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028.
Policy I O2 - Limerick – Shannon Metropolitan Area: It is a policy of the Council to:
Facilitate and promote Patrickswell’s role as part of the Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Area in accordance with the Limerick – Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan, the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region and the Limerick Development Plan 2022-2028.
The Draft Patrickswell LAP covers approximately 1.25 square kilometres in area and mainly falls into the Patrickswell Electoral Division (ED). A small area of the Plan also falls within the Crecora ED, which is within the Municipal District of Adare Rathkeale. The settlement area contains parts of the townlands of Barnakyle, Ballyanrahan East, Attyflin and Fortetna.
The settlement boundary for Patrickswell is defined by the principle of a compact settlement, prioritising the development potential of the village centre, sequential development from the village centre out and maximising under-used/vacant brownfield infill sites and repurposing existing vacant/derelict buildings. The Census CSO boundary for the village of Patrickswell is less expansive than that of the settlement boundary of the Draft Local Area Plan.
Considering the existing built footprint of the village and to align with national spatial policy, the settlement boundary for the Draft LAP has been determined as per the Draft Land Use Zoning Map in Appendix 1.
Figure 1.5: Patrickswell CSO Boundary and LAP Boundary
1.5.1 Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment
In accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), the Draft LAP is subject to the following environmental assessments:
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening accompanies the Draft LAP in accordance with the SEA Directive (2001/42/EC). This assessment is a formal, systematic evaluation of the likely significant environmental effects of implementing a plan, policy or programme. The conclusion of the SEA screening at this stage of the Draft LAP preparation process is that progression to full SEA and the preparation of an Environmental Report is not required.
Appropriate Assessment (AA) is required in accordance with Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). AA is a focused and detailed impact assessment of the implications of the plan or project, alone and in combination with other plans and projects, on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site in view of the site’s conservation objectives. Following screening for AA, it was determined that the Draft Patrickswell LAP is unlikely to have any impacts on an area designated as a Natura 2000 site, therefore a Natura Impact Report is not required.
A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of “The Planning System and Flood Risk Management - Guidelines for Planning Authorities” (DEHLG, 2009) as amended by Circular PL2/2014. The SFRA has informed the land use zoning objectives and all recommendations have been integrated into the Draft LAP, with a precautionary approach applied to the zoning of lands identified as potentially at risk of flooding.
The NPF and the Climate Action Plan 2023 have set out the scale of the climate change challenge. It has established a national policy position to achieve a 50% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and sets a path to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, as committed to in the Programme for Government and the Climate Act 2021. To achieve this objective, radical change is required in how we plan our cities, towns and rural areas. This Plan places climate action at the heart of its vision and will promote a framework to achieve compact growth and best practice in achieving a reduction in our carbon footprint.
Climate Change is a crosscutting theme of the LAP. In reinforcing climate action, this Plan places a priority and focus on enhancing and protecting the biodiversity, natural heritage and environment of the village. The SEA of the Plan, in accordance with the National Adaptation Framework (2018), supports the integration of climate action and land use considerations in the plan-making process