COMMUNITY the local travelling shop on route in Islandeady.
Islandeady wants a centre
The people of Islandeady have delivered a blunt message to planners: don’t let our area become swamped by development that could cause us to lose our identity.
And they are particularly adamant that the new N5 linking Westport and Castlebar – and which will run through Islandeady – should not split the community in two.
These were among the key findings of a major new Islandeady Community Action Plan which was launched in the village on Saturday last.
“Located between two growing towns of Castlebar and Westport, Islandeady is vulnerable to development pressure – consequently it would be easy for it to lose its identity or for its concerns to be overlooked,” the action plan claims.
“There is a real need therefore for the community to take a pro-active approach to make sure it is involved in decisions around planning and development, and that wherever possible it can influence outcomes that are in the community’s best interest.
“We want to support housing and zoning decisions that help develop a heart and centre to Islandeady, and we will also identify and lobby for appropriate traffic calming measures and a road maintenance programme. Another priority is to ensure the N5 doesn’t make the community less safe and geographically more divided.”
Community surveys revealed real fears in Islandeady – which has a population of 1,450 – that the area could become submerged in the urban sprawls of Westport and Castlebar and the Islandeady Community Futures Steering Group aim to prevent this happening.
The Community Council is to establish a Planning and Development Sub Group to monitor all planning and development decisions relevant to the area, and also to make recommendations on how best the interests of the community can be served.
This group will support housing and zoning decisions that help develop ‘a heart and centre’ in Islandeady. The plan also calls for local water quality and supply problems to be resolved, and for Broadband facilities to be provided locally.
The other major priorities identified in the report are:
1 Protect and enhance the lakes and rivers
2 Develop lakes and rivers for recreation
3 Develop local walks network for walking, cycling and horse-riding
4 Develop heritage interpretation, signage and facilities
5 Develop playground, and outdoor recreation and picnic areas
6 Enlarge or develop a new community centre
7 Erect community notice board at suitable location
8 Support existing local businesses
9 Explore opportunities for new local business ventures
10 Develop childcare provision
11 Improve care and services for the elderly
12 Improve local access to health services
13 Research and take action on other local needs.
Islandeady Community Futures Steering Group was made up of representatives of local organisations and stakeholders – Community Council, Elderly, Neighbourhood Watch; Pastoral Council; Angling; IFA; Rural Social Scheme; Water Scheme; Foróige; Walks Committee; Tourism; GAA; Ladies Club; Pre-school