Burlington Factory jobs fears

THE future of almost 150 jobs in Clonlara will rest in the hands of Clare County councillors next Monday when they decide whether rezone lands where the Burlington factory exists.

This is according to Zinc Properties, which owns lands where Burlington operates its until recently derelict factory, which was reopened last year with a view to converting the 323,000 square foot facility into commercial units.

Zinc Properties has submitted an application for a part of the 28-acre site to be zoned for heavy industrial use.

Although no zoning exists on the site today, planning permission exists for both heavy and light industrial use, with 143 jobs dependent on the Burlington facility through sub-supply firms, 12 of which exist in the vicinity.

And a spokesman for Zinc has warned a refusal to rezone the land will place these jobs in jeapordy.

"Right now Clare County councillors have a huge responsibility on their hands in relation to this application. They can either put jobs first and support the application or refuse it and risk the loss of further jobs at the worst possible time for our economy. It's as simple as that," said a company spokesperson.

"We are possibly going through the most difficult period ever in the economy of the Mid West and we should be fighting for every single job. It is not as if this is an application to completely change the use of the building. This facility already has planning permission for heavy industrial use, 24 hours a day and what we are asking in terms of our application is that this is merely formalized in the area development plan. We understand that the local authority may not want to vote on this as the argument being put forward is that this would be a material change and, therefore, would need to be advertised and put before the public."

The Burlington facility is, the developers say, the largest in Co Clare.


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