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Tralee Chamber Alliance recommends major changes to Tralee Draft Local Area Plan 2018-2024

TRALEE Chamber Alliance has identified a number of omissions from the Tralee Draft Local Area Plan (LAP) which is set to shape the future of Kerry’s capital town for the next six years.

The closing date for receipt of submissions on the Draft LAP is Thursday 31st May and the public are being encouraged to have their say before it’s too late.

As the town’s only business representative body, Tralee Chamber Alliance is concerned that Kerry County Council has not adequately engaged with the public during the consultation period which began on the 19th of April.

In the interest of the entire business community in the town, Tralee Chamber Alliance has submitted a list of positive solutions to these and other difficulties that will arise if the Plan is adopted in its current form.

The Managing Consultant to Tralee Chamber Alliance, Ken Tobin, said: “If Tralee is to act as the lead town in a counter-balance to development in Cork and Limerick in the Southwest Region, and as an integral part of a viable regional hub, then the LAP must anticipate an increase in the town’s population. The Draft LAP offers no advancement of the Masterplan for Tralee West. It would seem logical to ensure that as the lands in Clash, Manor West and the Kerry Technology Park are developed, that improved access is provided in advance, to link these lands and people to Tralee town centre. The issue of attracting FDI and new Employment has been a crucial missed step for Tralee in the past number of years, significant inward investment has been achieved in similar sized towns in this interim. Proposals to rectify this situation are not evident in the Draft LAP.”

The Draft LAP offers no details for the Island of Geese lands or any proposals to deliver adequate public activity and entertainment facilities for the younger members of our population (13 to 25 yrs) within the town boundaries.

It is the goal of Tralee Chamber Alliance to create jobs in the town, but the Draft LAP fails to prepare for the prospect of more people working and living in Tralee.

The Draft LAP does not anticipate a much sought-after vibrancy for the town that would occur by linking population growth in certain locations with the development of strong infrastructure.

With direct reference to the call for a “focussed marketing campaign” to attract inward investment and FDI, Tralee Chamber Alliance calls on significant investment be made from the Kerry County Council’s Economic Development Unit in this regard.

Tralee won a major award in 2015 when it was voted as Ireland’s Best Tourism Town in recognition of the team effort that has existed between the hotels, tourist attractions and others in the hospitality sector.

Tralee Chamber Alliance believes that the Draft LAP needs to show a greater commitment to develop the Lee Valley area as a key hub, support tourism assets and improve the necessary tourism infrastructure.

The President of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Aidan Kelly, said: “The Draft LAP is not entirely lacking in foresight, but we need to be critical in the interest of provoking more creativity in efforts to reach a positive outcome for us all. For example, in a town the size of Tralee, more than the one existing playground should be provided to cater for the young people in our community. The existing playground amenity in Tralee Town Park is below standard and generally unsafe. This Plan must show how Kerry Council plans to support the development of youth facilities including youth centres, activity venues and amenities.”

Tralee Chamber Alliance welcomes the acknowledgement from Kerry County Council that greater effort must be played by state and private businesses together in this area.

In that regard, Tralee Chamber Alliance, utilising the significant creative, marketing and technology skills already based within the town, wishes to support this campaign in a public/private partnership.

Car-based shoppers and tourists are a critical component of Tralee’s ecology and economy, but failing to acknowledge the role that private vehicles play in the life of the region will be detrimental to the retail, leisure and tourism sectors, and could lead to Tralee becoming a dormant town with an empty centre.

“We are highlighting the details of our submission as a wake-up call to the general public to read the Draft Plan and make their own suggestions as to how it can best serve the town for the next six years,” said Ken Tobin.

The Draft Tralee Municipal District Local Area Plan 2018-2024 may be viewed online at http://www.kerrycoco.ie/home3/planning/draft-tralee-m-d-lap-2018-2024/ and submissions should be made in writing and addressed to:

Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Planning Department, Kerry County Council, County Buildings, Rathass, Tralee, Co Kerry and marked: ‘Draft Tralee Municipal District Local Area Plan’.

Submissions will also be accepted by email to the following email address only: planpolicy@kerrycoco.ie.

Kerry County Council has said that all such submissions lodged within the above period will be taken into consideration prior to adoption of the Tralee Municipal District Local Area Plan and amendments to the Tralee Town Development Plan.

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