Fermanagh Area Plan 2007
Enniskillen, the County town and principal settlement of Fermanagh has developed on and adjacent to islands between Upper and Lower Lough Erne. It takes its name from the Irish "Inis Ceithleann" meaning the Island of Kathleen. With its strategic and defensive advantages the settlement first enters recorded history as a fortress of the Maguires in the 15th Century. It was not however until the Plantation era early in the 17th Century, when the island and castle were granted to William Cole that the basic layout of the town was established and development commenced.
From these beginnings, Enniskillen has grown and consolidated its function as the market, service and administrative centre of Fermanagh. Its remoteness from the major centres of social and economic activity in the east of the Province has served only to increase its importance to the wider region.
The proposals formulated for Enniskillen reflect its status as the principal town within Fermanagh accommodating a wide range of functions, services and facilities. It is anticipated that the town will continue to occupy this prime position over the Plan period. The Plan proposals formulated will be sufficient to provide for a potential population of 13,730 in 2007.
A major constraint in identifying new development land in Enniskillen has been imposed by the capacity of the existing road network particularly in the west of the town. For this reason the Department has been unable to amend the western development limit of Enniskillen by any significant degree to that indicated in the previous Fermanagh Area Plan adopted in 1983. Improvements carried out by the Department to the west end junctions of the town will be sufficient to accommodate the level of traffic growth anticipated during the Plan period. This includes the traffic associated with the development of presently undeveloped land in the west of the town. The capacity of the road network to accommodate new development, particularly housing, outside the western limit of development of Enniskillen may in the long term however, depend on other forms of highway improvement to reduce the level of traffic through the west end junctions. This could include the construction of a southern bypass linking the A4 Dublin Road with the A509 Derrylin Road. This is not a Plan proposal as it is unlikely to be economically viable during the Plan period, however this situation will be kept under review and the scheme re-assessed as traffic and development growth are realised.
The Enniskillen map indicates the principal land uses and road proposals for the town. It also defines a boundary for Enniskillen town centre which receives detailed consideration later in this section. For ease of reference some proposals for Enniskillen are detailed on the town centre map.