Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company, established as a special purpose vehicle of Clare County Council, has announced the appointment of a collaborative design team to develop a Master Plan for a much-needed high-quality mixed-use sustainable development for Francis Street, Ennis Town Centre. This will be managed under an agreed Service Level Agreement with Clare County Council.
Vincent Hannon Architects (VHA) in collaboration with Cundall Consulting Engineers and Ian Douglas Environmental Consultants have been successful in the tender process to prepare a Master Plan for the 0.327 hectare site. The development has the potential to include up to 45 housing units, aiming to redefine urban community while embracing sustainability and modern design principles in line with the ambitions set out in the approved Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy.
The VHA team has a vast body of experience and technical expertise in urban design, placemaking and master planning of destinations nationally and internationally for the past number of years.
Master planning will commence immediately with the aim of launching a comprehensive public consultation process in four to five months’ time to give the public an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed designs. Subject to a successful planning application, it is anticipated the project will be completed by early 2026.
The primary objective of the masterplan is to create a modern, mixed-use development that seamlessly integrates residential units, commercial spaces, and green areas, fostering a dynamic and liveable environment.
Ennis 2040 D.A.C. believes that sustainable urban development should not only address present needs but also consider future generations and their requirements. As such, Ennis 2040 and the VHA design team have identified a real and tangible opportunity to bring high quality multi-generational housing to Ennis and its residents, within the centre of the town.
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy, said “The appointment of the design team represents a significant step towards realizing the town’s vision for a sustainable and vibrant future. The development has the capacity to meet the growing demand for quality housing while setting a new benchmark for sustainable multigenerational living in Ennis. Our County Development Plan 2023 – 2029 sets ambitious targets for badly needed housing over the coming years with an identified need for 1,550 units in Ennis over this period.”
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor Tony O’Brien, said “I welcome the appointment of this highly qualified design team. I’m looking forward to seeing their considered designs and, in due course, how this development will have a positive impact on our town and meeting the needs of modern families.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “I’m delighted to see this first step being taken. This development in the making will build on the submission for affordable housing by Clare County Council earlier this year.”
Gerry Cahill, Chair, Ennis 2040, said “This is an important milestone as it marks the first phase in the delivery of Ennis 2040’s first brownfield development. The Francis Street site offers huge opportunity for a high-quality mixed-use development of real scale and I look forward to seeing design blueprints in the coming months.”
Kevin Corrigan, COO, Ennis 2040, said “The design team brings a wealth of expertise and a track record of successful projects. Their collective experience in sustainable design and urban development will be instrumental in crafting a Master Plan that reflects Ennis’ unique character while prioritizing energy efficiency, community living, and quality of life. With changing family dynamics, the multi-generational home is a growing trend that is informing how we are planning and designing our homes. We look forward to working closely with the team to create a development that will enhance this new way of living.”
“Delivering a meaningful sustainable development in line with the future vision for Ennis is our priority. We want to maximise the opportunity of the site for Ennis and its population and deliver a variety of housing and economic benefits at this location to a high quality design and build standard. The development of 45 affordable, modern homes that could be delivered in early 2026 will have a far greater effect on the housing crisis versus six expensively refurbished cottages which could take until mid-2025 to complete”, he continued.
As outlined earlier, this project is part of the Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy and integrated into the County Development Plan 2023 to 2029 both of which aim to deliver a range of strategic developments to make Ennis a better place to live, work, visit and invest in.