Drogheda is a 'Cinderella city'
As the January 23rd deadline approaches for making submissions to the Draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) Plan, the Drogheda City Status Group (DSCG) have urged all local business, community and political representatives in the Greater Drogheda Area - including East Meath - to ensure they engage with this important planning process.
The RSES Plan is being co-ordinated by the Eastern and Midlands Regional Authority which comprises twelve local authorities, including those in Louth, Meath and Dublin. The Plan is a new framework for spatial planning and economic development for the Eastern and Midlands Region and will take a wider view beyond county boundaries of desired outcomes.
“For those reasons, it is critical that the needs of the Greater Drogheda area are looked at from a wider perspective than previously,” said a spokesman for the DSCG, citing how the orderly development of Drogheda; East Meath and South Louth as Ireland’s next city evolves has not been properly reflected in any national, regional or local planning process to date.
He added: “We have no IDA; Enterprise Ireland or LEO offices in what is currently Ireland’s largest town, soon to become the second city in Leinster and the fifth largest urban centre in the State. Key decisions regarding tourism and economic development in Drogheda are being taken by senior Local Authority staff located in distant Dundalk or Navan.
"As a consequence, Drogheda has been the “Cinderella City” divided into two towns rather than being recognised as Ireland’s emerging next city, loosing Foreign Direct Investment that could drive much needed local jobs. Too many of our people have to make long, expensive commutes to find work in Dublin rather than locally, creating a real financial, social and economic cost for our communities in Drogheda; South Louth and East Meath - and this is no longer acceptable.”
The Draft RSES Plan can be viewed at www.emra.ie and groups concerned with the future growth of the Greater Drogheda area should review the Plan and make their submission before January 23rd next.
The Plan considers Spatial Strategy, managing future growth and ensuring the creation of healthy and attractive places to live, work, study, visit and invest in. It also addresses Economic Strategy to build on our strengths to sustain a strong economy and support the creation of quality jobs that ensure a good living standard for all.
Also included is a Metropolitan Plan for the Dublin metropolitan area – local groups should consider, in a similar manner, what the Greater Drogheda area needs.
“Finally, the Draft Plan sets out an Investment Framework to prioritise the delivery of key enabling infrastructure and services by government and state agencies. Locally, the Northern Environs Plan and Northern Cross Route are key developments critical for current and future generations. These need to be fast-tracked as they also the potential to support the Climate Action Strategy in the Draft Plan which aims to accelerate climate action, ensure a clean and healthy environment and to promote sustainable transport and strategic green infrastructure,” concluded the DCSG spokesman, who emphasized how critical is it for business; community and local political representatives in Drogheda , East Meath and South Louth to engage fully in this process.