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What is a Strategic Development Zone?

A Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) is an area of land that is proposed to contain developments of economic or social importance to the State. The designation of a site as an SDZ is a decision of the Government, following a proposal by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

In 2008, Mayo County Council applied to the Minister (DoEHLG) to designate lands at Ireland West Airport Knock as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). In response, the Department recommended that a Local Area Plan (LAP) be prepared with the dual intention of identifying development issues which may require addressing prior to a Strategic Development proposal as well as guiding the immediate development of the area in a planned and coherent manner. IWAK Local Area Plan 2012-2018 was adopted by Mayo County Council in October 2012. The lifespan of the LAP was subsequently extended until June 2022 to ensure that the development objectives of the LAP remain in place until such time as the SDZ Planning Scheme is adopted.

On On the 30th May 2017 by order of the Government (S.I No 266 of 2017) Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) received approval for the designation of lands as an area for the establishment of a Strategic Development Zone.

On the 9th of September 2019, the SDZ was adopted by Mayo County Council.

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