An online consultation portal along with videos, webinars, and public events are just a few of the measures that the Clare County Council has developed in an attempt to encourage public participation in the preparation of the 2022 County Clare Development Plan. -2028.
Details of the communication methods, which will also include social and traditional media, were unveiled at a Clare County Council meeting, where Council Member PJ Ryan highlighted the importance of keeping the public informed about changes to the plan.
The councilman urged the City Council to “put in place a robust communication system to inform people whose property status changes in the county’s new development plan and also communicate with communities where alternative energy zoning is being considered.”
He claimed that he has met with members of the public after the completion of the development plans who were not aware of the changes that would affect his properties.
“I think the traditional way of transmitting to people just doesn’t work, we have to come up with new ways.”
He suggested that community councils could be used to inform the public of possible changes to the development plan by saying, “This could solve many problems in the future.”
The motion was seconded by Councilman Ian Lynch who said that “it would not be a gigantic task” to obtain the addresses of those affected by the changes in the plan and write to them.
Councilman Joe Cooney suggested that the Council participate in the public consultation process and promote it in the media.
He said the public has a responsibility to examine the development plan to see how it might affect them. However, if there was a major change, “maybe that person should be informed before it goes into effect.”
Leas Cathaoirleach, Councilmember Pat Burke, also seconded the motion.
Liam Conneally, Director of Service in his response stated, “The Planning Authority is committed to fully engaging with stakeholders and communities as part of the process of preparing the Clare County Development Plan 2022-2028 plan.
“The next stage of stakeholder / public engagement will take place in August 2021, when the Draft Plan will be released to the public for a period of no less than 10 weeks.
“Notification of this consultation stage will be made on local radio and print media, as well as online through the Council’s social media accounts.
“Additionally, during this consultation period, it is intended to host public consultation events across the county (subject to Covid restrictions) where local communities and individuals can discuss the emerging plan with members of the planning department staff.
“Videos and webinars are being developed to help engage the public / stakeholders in the plan development process and will be available for viewing online.”
He said that a new online consultation portal has been developed that will allow the public and interested parties to make presentations online for the first time if they wish. This would be in addition to the traditional method of receiving submissions via email and postal mail.
He added: “A dedicated web page has been created where all interested parties can find all the information about the Plan development process in a centralized location clarecdp2022-2028.clarecoco.ie/
“In the event that Covid restrictions do not allow for town hall consultation events, I have asked that the Planning Department staff examine various ways to consult with the community / stakeholders. By the third and fourth quarters of 2021, I hope and anticipate that there will be an opportunity for a more traditional engagement from all stakeholders. “