16.1 Kinvara (Cinn Mhara) Small Growth Village
16.2 Village Context
Kinvara is located on the National Primary Road, N67 and can be characterised as a seaside village, on the south shoreline of County Galway. Kinvara lies at the head of Kinvara Bay and has developed around a natural harbour and an inlet in the south-east corner of Galway Bay.
Kinvara has excellent links with the M18 motorway that connects Gort and Tuam with the nearest access located at exit 17 at Kiltiernan approximately 8km from the village. The M17 and M6 is also easily accessible from nearby Ardrahan as is the railway station and there is daily Bus Eireann service between Galway and North Clare. Kinvara is located approximately 28km from Galway and is within the Burren Lowlands. Kinvara village has an appealing ambiance with its brightly painted restaurants, cafes, shops, hotel and houses. Kinvara is located in a culturally rich landscape and is ideally located for exploring the Burren and south Galway.
As Kinvara is located on the south shoreline of County Galway, the village is a very popular summer destination for day trippers and holiday makers. Dunguaire Castle dated to c1520 is located on the site of an earlier fortification Dún Guaire, the fort of Guaire, the 7th century King of Connacht and it is located off the N67 eastern approach into the village. Along the pier road the attractive form and design of the traditional buildings in the village, tress and stonewalls beside the coast with the Burren Hills in the background comes into view. Traditional sailing boats are often seen sailing in the bay or moored in the harbour which serves as a backdrop for many photos and postcards.
16.3 Sustainable Communities
The urban form of Kinvara has evolved through time and contributes to the character and local distinctiveness of the area. The commercial core of the village has been identified as Main Street, Quay area, the streets linking these areas and around the Market Square.
The established housing stock fronting onto Main Street and in the village core are modest in size, attractive and of traditional form and design with a high density layout. The variety of dwellings that exist in the village provide a good mix for its inhabitants. In addition, infill residential has been constructed in the village. There are two well established housing estates within the village including Castleview Park which consists of detached dwellings and Covent Park with consists of a mix of house types. A number of small-scale residential developments close to the main core have been constructed over the last decade.
Kinvara provides services to a wider rural catchment than the village itself including South Galway and North Clare and it is therefore important that it remains a viable village settlement, with a strong retail and service base.
In terms of education, St Joseph’s National School is a co-education primary school and Seamount College Kinvara is a co-educational, post-primary school.
16.3.3 Community Facilities
Social and Community facilities play an important function in promoting social inclusion and act as a focal meeting point for residents of all ages. Kinvara Children’s Community Centre is a community creche facility in the village adjoining the community centre and offering a range of services for more including a preschool program. St. Joseph’s Church, national school and the community centre, which are important community facilities, are centrally located within the village. St. Colman’s Church, located on the outskirts of the village is also used once a week for services.
The community centre is used for a wide range of activities such as recreational facilities, badminton, dancing, music lessons, Youth Club, Karate and Drama, community meetings, sale events, etc. The Kinvara Children’s Community Centre which is a community creche facility and preschool are adjoining the community centre.
In 2015, the restored Kinvara Courthouse building on Courthouse Road became the dedicated spaces and home to Kinvara Area Visual Arts (KAVA) with the support of Kinvara Community Council and the Parish Council. Kinvara Farmers Market takes place along Courthouse Road on Fridays between the months of April and October. It offers a selection of local produce including food and crafts and sometimes has live music sessions.
16.3.4 Environment and Heritage
Kinvara is an attractive village that benefits from a rich heritage and a wide choice of natural and outdoor amenities. Kinvara’s location at the head of Galway Bay makes it an ideal base for canoe/dingy and sailing enthusiasts. The key amenities that exist in the village is the Harbour area and the remains of the 7th century Rath of King Guaire and Dunguaire tower house to the northeast of the village and proximity the spectacular Burren Hills and Burren Lowlands to the south.
Kinvara has an attractive streetscape that contains several fine individual buildings. Within the Kinvara ACA and within the village are several protected structures and recorded monuments that add to the architectural character of the settlement. Windmill Tower, St. Joseph's Presbytery, St. Joseph’s Church, Kinvara Courthouse, Murphy’s Stores, Dunguaire Castle and PJ O’Dea Shop. Recorded Monuments include Promontory Fort, Tower Houses, Windmill, Church and Graveyard.
The grassed area with outdoor seating down along by the pier provides an attractive area of open space for residents and visitors and the pier provides an attractive focal point and people-friendly destination.
16.3.5 Village Centre and Business & Enterprise
The commercial core of the village has been identified as Main Street, the Harbour area, the streets linking these areas and around the Market Square. Further commercial activity in this area is promoted along with the development of the Harbour area and Market Square as focal points.
Kinvara provides a limited amount of local employment and services to the people of the village and those within its wider catchment and the plan will seek to support the development, vitality and vibrancy of the village centre.
Within the village core a strategic aim is to bring remaining vacant and unused buildings within this area into productive use. There is also capacity for small residential schemes, self-built opportunities within the core. However, there are opportunities within the settlement for the redevelopment of existing underutilised properties and derelict dwellings. Development proposals locating within the village core will be supported and facilitated where appropriate especially Living Over the Shop Opportunities in the village core. There are opportunity sites located along the main street in Kinvara incorporating underutilised land to the rear of these properties.
Kinvara’s proximity to Galway City, the Burren Region including the Burren Lowlands, Coole Park, Lough Cultra Drive and Kilmacduagh with quiet local roads, hills, woods, fields, archaeology, castles and coastline have resulted in tourist opportunities to be developed within the village. The circular walking /cycling and driving routes in the area including from Kinvara to Lough Cultra Drive, up the new line to Gort and Tubber area, out the coast road to the Burren region are very popular with tourists and outdoor pursuit enthusiasts.
It is envisaged that the tourism links between the village and castle will be developed further in order to maximise the amenity value of the area. Mechanisms to achieve this include the provision of improved parking facilities at both locations together with a walkway linking them. Tourism related services are primarily encouraged within the village centre with appropriate tourism and parking facilities at Dunguaire Castle.
16.4 Services and Infrastructure
16.4.1 Water Supply
The Kinvara public water supply is supplied by a single borehole that supplies the Kinvara public water scheme and has capacity for projected growth.
The village is served by a municipal wastewater treatment system. There is capacity within the network to accommodate development that is envisaged to take place.
16.4.3 Roads and Transportation
The National Road the N67, runs through the settlement, giving rise to large volumes of traffic, including a high proportion of heavy goods vehicles and tour buses on day trip along the Wild Atlantic Way Route. Improvements have been made to some of the local road infrastructure in the area especially along the approach road to the village and the footpaths within the village.
There is limited on-street parking in designated car parking spaces located in the square, the Harbour and along Main Street. A number of public bus parking spaces are provided down by the Pier.
The realignment works on the eastern approach road into Kinvara, will make the N67 safer and the road’s character will be retained by re-building the stone walls. The settlement is accessible by a daily Bus Eireann public bus service (Route 350) between Galway and Doolin, that links the settlements between Galway City and Doolin including Kinvara and provides a much-needed services to local and tourist.
With respect to lands within the village that are liable to flood risk, the Council will require any proposed developments to comply with ‘The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DEHLG, 2009) and Circular PL2/2014 and any amendment thereof. The Council, having regard to the nature and scope of development, may require the submission of Flood Risk Assessments, as appropriate, to assess the suitability of development proposals. There is a flood map identified for Kinvara and is in accordance with the guidelines and circular referenced above
Land Use Zoning Policy Objectives for Kinvara (Kinvara Small Growth Village-KSGV)
KSGV 1 Sustainable Village Centre
Promote the development of Kinvara village, as an intensive, high quality, well landscaped, human-scaled and accessible environment, with an appropriate mix of uses, including residential, commercial, service, tourism, enterprise, public and community uses as appropriate, that provide a range of retail services, facilities and amenities to the local community and visitors to the villages. The village centre and associated main street shall remain the primary focus for retail and service activity within these plan areas.
KSGV 2 Sustainable Residential Communities
Promote the development of appropriate and serviced lands to provide for high quality, well laid out and well landscaped sustainable residential communities with an appropriate mix of housing types and densities, together with complementary land uses such as community facilities, local services and public transport facilities, to serve the residential population of Kinvara settlement plan. Protect existing residential amenities and facilitate compatible and appropriately designed new infill development, in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the plan area. Specifically encourage living over the shop which can contribute to the vitality of the core and extend activity beyond business hours.
KSGV 3 Local Development and Services
To encourage and support the development of local facilities and services to meet the needs of the local community.
KSGV 4 Community Facilities
To support the provision of additional community facilities and maintenance of the playground facilities, subject to resources being available.
KSGV 5 Local Services and Business
To facilitate the expansion of existing local services and businesses where appropriate and to facilitate the provision of further local employment opportunities in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
KSGV 6 Small Scale Enterprises
To encourage the provision of commercial and employment development within the village and in particular the provision of opportunities for small scale start up enterprises.
KSGV 7 Tourism
Promote Kinvara as premier tourist destination in its own right and as a tourism hub for Kinvara, offering a high quality, rich and diverse experience to all visitors.
KSGV 8 Street scape Enhancement Works
To facilitate the carrying out of streetscape enhancement works subject to resources being available.
KSGV 9 Expansion of Public Infrastructure
To support the expansion of public infrastructure within the village as required.
KSGV 10 Connectivity to the Village
New developments should be well integrated with the existing village and allow for easy and safe access and connectivity to the village centre and to the main facilities by foot and bicycle.
KSGV 11 Stone Walls
Encourage the retention and additional of the natural stone walls along roadside boundaries, housing estate boundaries and boundaries to any new development within the development boundary.
KSGV 12 Opportunity Sites
To promote and encourage the appropriate red-development of the opportunity sites identified below, which will contribute to the vitality and character of Kinvara.
OPT-KI 1 Site Kinvara - Corner site.
Brief Description: This corner site visible on approaching the village from the east and south is located across the road to the west of the Post Office. It is currently occupied by single storey outbuildings and a garage serving the traditional 3- Storey dwelling on the adjoining site to the west.
Area: The site area measures circa. 0.2 HA.
Zoning: The site is zoned Town Centre.
Current Land-Use: Storage sheds and garage serving the dwelling on the adjoining site to the west.
Opportunity: To provide for a mix of uses capable of accommodating tourism, residential, commercial or a mixed use development.
OPT-KI 2 Site Kinvara – Lands to the rear of the Main Street
Brief Description: This site fronts onto the Main Street with an existing 2-storey dwelling that has a side access onto the Main Street to the north-eastern part of this Opportunity site. The plot extends westwards to the rear of Tully's Bar and associated buildings to the boundary of Arvough Housing estate. The roadway serving the car park to the rear of the Supermarket runs along the eastn site boundary.
Area: The site area measures circa. 0.24HA.
Zoning: The site is zoned Village Centre.
Current Land-Use: Residential with a large part of this opportunity site in use as rear gardens serving the properties fronting onto the Main Street.
Opportunity: To provide for a mix of uses capable of accommodating tourism, residential, commercial or a mixed-use development.