PROPER PLANNING VITAL FOR PROJECT 2040
CAUTIOUS WELCOME FOR PROJECT IRELAND
THE newly unveiled Project Ireland 2040 has been given a ‘cautious’ welcome by Louth TD Declan Breathnach.
Speaking in the Dail last week Deputy Breathnach said: ‘I cautiously welcome the National Planning Framework 2040 but I am hoping that in planning the work, we will work the plan.
I expect it will soon have proper legislative footing under the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Project Ireland 2040 is a very ambitious plan for our country. However, a lot of what it contains isn’t new and are initiatives that have been announced already.
He said he welcomed the regional roles identified in the plan including Drogheda Dundalk-Newry cross-border where networks will be identified and supported in the relevant Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.
He also welcomed the recognition in the plan of the ‘importance of the Dublin to Belfast Corridor as being the largest economic cluster on the island of Ireland.
Depute Breathnach said: ‘ The proposed linkage in the plan of a high speed train network between the two capital cities of North and South must be completed.
He added: ‘We are still waiting on the Ardee By-pass, and I know that funding has been ear-marked over a number of years. Improvement in infrastructure is imperative if we are to continue to attract inward investment to the region.’
He highlighted the creation of new employment in the Dundalk area 300 new jobs in Dundalk when the medicine packaging company Wasdell committed to opening a new 70,000 sq ft plant. This UK company wish to re- tain a presence within the EU. This is a huge growth area, as a potential from Brexit, and it is imperative, along the Eastern Corridor that infrastructure, increased housing to accommodate sustainable population growth with a good quality of life is provided. This would include providing connectivity with high speed broadband as being a basic requirement.’
‘It is all well and good talking about master plans, but when many in my region are left without any hope of getting high speed broadband, it reflects badly on those aspirations contained in this plan.’
He added: ‘ As noted in the plan it will be necessary to prepare co-ordinated strategies for Dundalk and Drogheda at both regional and town level to ensure that they have the capacity to grow sustainably and secure investment as key centres.’
‘We also need to protect rural towns and communities and it would appear that there will be a shortfall in funding when you look at the plans for the four cities which will undoubtedly eat into the majority of the funding leaving larger towns to suffer the deficit,’ said Deputy Breathnach.
‘I would also like to say that under National Policy Objective 15 to support the sustainable development of rural areas by encouraging growth and arresting decline in areas that have experienced low population growth – in this respect, I would like to see opportunities for those traditionally and generationally entitled to remain in their local areas, to be allowed build in their local rural community whether rural or in a small town without the myriad of planning restrictions that currently exist.’
‘An immediate solution to the housing crisis we are currently in would be to bring in emergency legislation immediately preventing vulture funds coming in and putting families out of their homes. ‘
He added: ‘ The Local Authorities should be the first port of call in pur- chasing these distressed loan books at the same knock-down prices that the vulture funds are buying them for. This would prevent even more families from becoming homeless.’
Meanwhile Dundalk TD Peter Fitzpatrick has praised the launch of Project Ireland 2040, which he should would’ deliver real investment and proper planning for Louth.’
‘Louth is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning as a result of Project Ireland 2040. The plan will support families and strengthen communities in Louth, and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.
‘Project Ireland 2040 is backed and supported up by a €115bn National Development Plan.’
He welcomed the inclusion of Dundalk and Drogheda as key centres on the Drogheda-Dundalk-Newry cross-border network and in the context of the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor.
‘Highlights for this region also include the N52 Ardee Bypass,’ said Deputy Fitzpatrick.
‘ The proposed road development comprises a 4.7 km single carriageway N52 bypass of Ardee town, and is planned to progress the project in 2018.’
He also welcomed proposals to link the Dart to Drogheda train station, and the benefits to the north east.
Louth Deputies, Declan Breathnach and Peter Fitzpatrick.