Spa Village’s Five Year Community Plan Launched

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Tom O’Leary (second left) of O’Leary & Associates Training & Consultancy Ltd, with members of The Spa Tidy Village Group Committee at the launch of the Five Year Community Plan at The Oyster Tavern on Wednesday night. From left; Cathy O’Brien, Tom O’Leary, Noreen White, Diane Flaherty, Veronica Kelly, Helen O’Brien, Dave Lowe and Linda O’Halloran. Photo by Dermot Crean

MEMBERS of the Spa community gathered with local councillors in The Oyster Tavern on Wednesday night for the launch of the village’s Five Year Community Plan.

The report sets forth a number of recommendations to improve the infrastructure, increase biodiversity and help the local Tidy Towns group to enhance the village.

The Five Year Plan is for the whole parish and was 90% funded by NEWKD. The Spa Tidy Village Group is also doing training with eTownz on Smart Villages on how to implement the plan.

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The key recommendations of the Plan are…

Infrastructure

• Consult with Kerry County Council re road, traffic calming on village entrances, signage and street- lighting improvements in and around the village.

• Consult with Kerry County Council re timeline on works on the Tralee to Fenit Greenway and the Cockleshell Road to Spa Village Coastal Greenway.

• Improving the village gateways, visual prominence, distinctiveness and safety.

• Improved connections (pedestrianised access) throughout the village.

• Carry out a feasibility study into the redevelopment of the community hall as a multi-purpose community space. Potential uses include indoor hall, meeting rooms, youth space, heritage centre, remote office space.

• Complete design statement and public realm plan for village core.

• Improve parking facilities in the village.

• The integrity of the village should be maintained.

Tidy Towns and Biodiversity

• Expand the Tidy Town team volunteer base and develop a tidy towns plan supported by local businesses, residents and schools.

• Develop annual fundraising strategy to finance the work-plan.

• Promote biodiversity within the schools and clubs.

• Develop information packs and courses for local residents on biodiversity at home.

• Incorporate interpretative and information signage on the various walking trails.

• Develop a public realm and street scape plan in consultation with Kerry County Council in parallel to works to be completed as part of the Green Way developments.

The report stated it is crucial that the Spa Tidy Village Group and other organisations are supported in the implementation of  actions where appropriate and possible, by Kerry County Council, Government Departments and NEWKD CLG.

Potential funding sources are identified and outlined within the plan, but many of the initiatives put forward do not require funding or at least substantial funding.

They do however, require investment of time and support by people within the community. It said there should be real ‘buy-in’ and investment from the local community and businesses and the community cannot rely on external funding or subsidies to sustain the overall promotion of the community.

It stated the community is coming from a good starting position and this plan outlines how the community can be developed and sustained over time.

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