Mid-West Area Strategic Plan - MWASP

The four Local Authorities in the Mid-West Region, which includes Limerick City (as lead) Clare County Council, Limerick County Council and North Tipperary County Council and working with the Mid-West Regional Authority, has prepared a Draft Strategic Plan which examines the future for the Mid-West Region.

The Draft Mid-West Area Strategic Plan (MWASP) was prepared to secure the following overall objectives;

a)         Prioritisation of investment in the region;

b)        Strengthening The Limerick/Shannon Gateway as the core of the Region. The promotion of the existing city and environs (the metropolitan city) as the economic driver for the region is fundamental;

c)         Strengthening the Limerick/Shannon Gateway Nenagh and Ennis as the Hub in terms of population growth;

d)        Create and support a well defined hierarchy of settlement, as defined in the Mid-West Regional Planning Guidelines, which will support the development of a series of rural economic nodes such as Newcastle west, Thurles and Roscrea;

e)         Deliver the required transport infrastructure to meet the Plan objectives;

f)         Optimise the organisational structure to facilitate the delivery of the Plan objectives;

g)         Provide economic review and direction for the region.

The MWASP is a strategy to facilitate a regional population of 500,000 that has been set in a 20 year timeframe. An outcome of the strategy is a requirement for a significant public transport investment requirement (€340M from 2012 – 2032), excluding the cost of land, buses or locomotives.

The Strategy also outlines the strategic requirement for a series of road projects, both National and Non-National, to help achieve better competitiveness for the region.

 Limerick City Council and the Mid-West experienced strong growth in car ownership and longer journey times to work over the lifetime of the 2004 City Development Plan and as a result most of the City’s road network is at full capacity.

The challenge in this plan is to embrace the principle of sustainability and deliver on the growing demand for travel by sustainable forms of transport such as bus, train, cycling and walking. In the past a lack of co-ordination between land use and transportation has contributed to today’s longer journey times and traffic congestion. The integration of land use and transportation has a key role to play in delivering social, economic and environmental sustainability and to deliver on this, the Mid-West local authorities have commissioned the Mid-West Area Strategic Plan (MWASP).

In Limerick City & its Environs this has happened in the context of:

  • A rapid growth in population and households, leading to increasingly dispersed travel patterns.
  • An increase in employment leading to a large increase in the demand for travel in the peak hour.
  • Increasing car ownership resulting in additional commuting by car, which is economically inefficient and environmentally unsustainable.
  • Slower than expected delivery of public transport enhancement projects in Limerick City.

The MWASP will be a planning, land use & transportation strategy that will aim to:

  • Strengthen and enhance the functionality of the Limerick-Shannon Gateway as identified in the National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020.
  • Provide guidelines for the promotion of a more balanced regional settlement pattern through a more structured dispersal of population.
  • Identify Limerick and the Mid-West strategic requirements for the next 20 years.
  • Inform future social, physical, educational and economic infrastructural spending programs.
  • Inform the current and future National Development Plans, Regional Planning Guidelines and National Spatial Strategy areas.
  • Aid in securing National funding.

The key features of a more sustainable form of spatial development for the Limerick Area are:

  • Development that is concentrated rather than dispersed allowing for it to be served more efficiently by public transport.
  • Improved access to locations of employment, education, health, leisure and residence through the provision of a high quality sustainable public transport system.
  • To develop new residential neighbourhoods and employment zones that can be adequately served by public transport.

In compliance with Article 12 (1) and Schedule 2 of the SEA Regulations (SI No. 435 of 2004), an Environmental Report has been prepared which assesses, at a strategic level, the likely significant environmental impacts of implementing the Draft Plan.

The Environmental Report and Non-Technical Summary, along with the Draft Strategic Plan, (in accordance with Article 13 of SI No 435 of 2004) are available on this website for comment as part of the public consultation process which starts on Friday 20th January 2012.

The Environmental Report and Non-Technical Summary, along with the Draft Strategic Plan are also available for inspection during business hours at the offices of each of the four Local Authorities and the Mid-West Regional Authority:

Limerick City Council, Planning Department, City Hall, Merchants Quay,LimerickCity.

Limerick County Council, Planning Department, County Hall, Dooradoyle,Limerick.

Clare County Council, Planning Department, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare

NorthTipperaryCountyCouncil, Planning Department, Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary

Mid-West Regional Authority,Friar Court,Abbey Street, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary


The documentation may also be accessed on the following websites:

Project website: - www.MWASP.ie

Mid West Regional Authority website: http://www.mwra.ie/Regional_Planning/MWASP.shtml



   MWASP Public Consultation Notice Jan 2012 (PDF - 234 Kb)

Last update:19/01/2012