Chapter 6 - Economic Development and Tourism

Open2 Sep, 2023, 12:00am - 16 Oct, 2023, 5:00pm

6.1 Enterprise and Employment

The Limerick Development Plan identifies Patrickswell as a Level 4 Large Village in the settlement hierarchy and describes Level 4 settlements as catering for ‘the daily and weekly needs of their inhabitants and the needs of the surrounding wider catchment area’. Patrickswell Enterprise Centre is located to the eastern end of the village and is home to a number of small to medium size enterprises, including Design Wise Automation Limited, Seakel Fire and Security and Abrasive Blasting Systems. Approximately 20 people are currently employed across the enterprise centre.

Patrickswell’s village centre has a range of retail services that provide for the needs of the village and surrounding catchment area. The function of these businesses is extremely important locally. The village itself has experienced limited growth over a prolonged period, in terms of both residential development and local services. The village has a number of visible vacant commercial properties along its main thoroughfare. These vacant buildings impact on the physical appearance of the village.


Figure 6.1: Main Street, Patrickswell


The enhancement of the local shopping facilities in both the convenience and comparison sectors is a key ingredient in maintaining and enhancing the vitality of the village. Patrickswell has significant potential for retail expansion by occupying existing vacant units and developing a significant area of backlands to the north of the village centre. Supporting town centre first initiatives as outlined in Chapter 4 and facilitating the development of shops and comparison shopping in village centres such as Patrickswell, will create a sustainable vibrant village, while building up the retail core. In order to protect the vitality and viability of the village centre, new retail developments will only be permitted on land which is zoned village centre.

Settlements such as Patrickswell, have capacity to accommodate community based enterprise centres on appropriately zoned lands where there is good access to regional and national roads and a pool of local skills. In this regard, the village is well placed in respect of ease of access to the N/M20 and links to the south of the country. In addition, vacant commercial units should be encouraged for redevelopment for small scale or local enterprise, creative workspaces and industry creation, subject to normal planning and environmental criteria.

Policy ED P1 - Strategic Economic Development: It is policy of the Council to:

Promote and facilitate economic development and employment generating activities in Patrickswell in a sustainable manner, in accordance with higher-level spatial plans, including the Limerick Development Plan 2022 – 2028.

Objective ED O1 - Local Enterprise: It is an objective of the Council to:

(a) Encourage the redevelopment of vacant commercial units, brownfield, derelict and infill sites for local enterprise development, subject to the normal planning and environmental criteria.

(b) Support home based economic activities, which are secondary to the main residential use and which can be accommodated without adverse impacts on the amenities of adjoining residential property, by reason of traffic hazard, noise or other planning criteria.

(c) Develop lands zoned for Enterprise and Employment and ensure planned development can be accommodated complementary to safeguarding the strategic function of the national road network and associated junctions.

Objective ED O2 - Enterprise and Employment: It is the objective of the Council to:

Permit proposals for new enterprise and employment development or extensions to existing employment facilities in appropriately zoned areas. Development proposals will require the following:

(a) An appropriate level of transport assessment, including an assessment of the cumulative impact of development, to ensure planned development can be accommodated complementary to safeguarding the strategic function of the national road network and associated junctions.

(b) Ensure any development proposals take cognisant of the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Project and will not compromise the development of route options or the construction of the preferred route.

(c) Ensure all development proposals include, Mobility Management Plans, with clear targets and commitments to implement measures to promote sustainable transport.

(d) Retain sufficient lands around the site boundaries where industrial, enterprise or distribution activites are proposed to accommodate landscaping to soften the visual impact and reduce the biodiversity loss of the development.

(e) Early engagement with all utilities providers, including Uisce Eireann is strongly advised.

6.2 Tourism

Patrickswell’s location creates multiple opportunities and avenues to capitalise on the role that tourism plays in a local economy. The recently upgraded cycle scheme from the village into Limerick City as well as the possibility of future connections to the existing Limerick Greenway at Rathkeale and greenway infrastructure south to the Cork border, will create future opportunities for recreational based revenue. There are multiple benefits associated with greenway development, including economic opportunities, given the huge increase in cycling tourism both nationally and internationally in recent years. The knock on effect has been seen in jobs growth and revenue in recreation, construction and maintenance. In addition, greenway tourism allows for the spread of the tourist spend outside of the main traditional tourism centres, especially to shops, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants, which could be capitalised on, in a village such as Patrickswell. Further benefits include, improving community connections and strengthening cultural identity. 

In addition, the proximity of Limerick Racecourse to the village offers enormous potential to attract people into Patrickswell. Supporting and promoting how Patrickswell can capitalise on this attraction and create the conditions where related events can harness economic benefits is critical to the plan. Patrickswell’s proximity to Adare could result in economic benefits for the village from such as the Ryder Cup. Capitalising and harnessing from this proximity will create further tourism opportunities as an add-on option for those visiting the area. 

Niche tourism is a type of tourism that focuses on specific interests or activities and can create multiple opportunities and benefits to local economies. One such example of a ‘niche tourism’ is local food production tourism, which involves visiting farms and other food production facilities to learn about the process of growing and producing food. Attyflynn Apple Farm, located just outside the settlement boundary located on 250 acres is home to a working estate steeped in the traditions of food production stretching back over a millennium. The agri-horticultural business located on the estate, produces a number of beverages and food and offers tours and private gatherings. This type of tourism should be supported and promoted as it allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of where their food comes from, the hard work that goes into producing it, but also supports locally grown produce and small scale farmers. Food production tourism is a great way to combine travel with education and sustainability while generating the local economy. 

This plan encourages the growth of the tourism sector, while safeguarding the local natural and built environment and cultural heritage for the benefit of both tourism and the local community.

Objective ED O3 - Tourism Development: It is an objective of the Council to:

(a) Enhance the tourism potential of Patrickswell, including the promotion of new tourism products in an environmentally sustainable manner and work with relevant landowners and stakeholders to encourage new development for the tourist industry within the Local Area Plan boundary.

(b) Support growth in the tourism sector in Patrickswell by facilitating vital connections between complementary locations, and ensuring visitors can easily avail of services in Patrickswell village centre.

(c) Support the provision of a new Greenway linking Patrickswell with the Limerick Greenway and the wider Greenway/ Active Travel network.

(d) Require new tourism projects located within the village to foster synergy with the services and retail businesses located in the village.

(e) Support community engagement in the development of niche tourism and amenity projects in the village.

Objective ED O4 - Limerick Racecourse: It is the objective of the Council to:

Facilitate the continued operation and development of the Limerick racecourse and encourage the accommodation of complementary events/commercial/amenity functions and any supporting development to promote viable development while ensuring the protection of residential amenities and traffic safety. Where appropriate, the Council will encourage the development of ancillary facilities within the core of the village. Such facilities might include accommodation, restaurants or equestrian related services.