independent

Monday 15 October 2018

Plan 'excludes' Balbriggan says Sinn Féin TD

Balbriggan is getting left behind says Louise O'Reilly

John Manning

According to a local TD, Balbriggan is 'best placed to serve as the main urban centre in north Fingal' but that has not been recognised in the Government's latest National Planning Framework which plans for the country's growth up to 2040.

That document is currently undergoing a public consultation process that ends next Friday but Deputy Louise O'Reilly (SF) believes that the Government has got its plans all wrong when it comes to the largest town in north Fingal.

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O'Reilly has slammed the Government for their 'exclusion' of Balbriggan in the Draft National Planning Framework.

Deputy O'Reilly said that Balbriggan had been 'stripped of any semblance of power it once had, and that, as the youngest town in Ireland and owing to its strategic location, it deserved inclusion as an urban centre in the National Planning Framework'.

She said: 'The Minister is seeking balanced regional development, yet excludes Balbriggan which is best placed to serve as the main urban centre in the north Fingal in terms of population, location, services and transport links. Balbriggan is the youngest town in the state. Yet, only five urban centres are included in the plan.

'Balbriggan's population is growing faster than the any other town, and that growth will continue, especially since the projected expansion of Greater Dublin will focus on development zoned lands.'

Deputy O'Reilly added: 'Balbriggan has been left out of the draft National Planning Framework, the Spatial Strategy, the Living City Initiative. We have been stripped of our Borough Council status and our town clerk. All of this damage was done by this Government and the previous Government.'

The Sinn Féin TD said: 'Balbriggan has a young, well-educated population. We have high speed broadband, transport links, proximity to the airport and enormous Tourism potential. Brexit is coming down the track and Balbriggan needs to be ready. We need greater investment in our business parks and business development, investment in infrastructure including the harbour and we need investment in our long established Schools like St Molaga's. We need to be future-proofing plans for Balbriggan based on the Census information and it's very disappointing to see that while Balbriggan has the population to warrant inclusion in the National Planning Framework, it has been overlooked.'

Deputy O'Reilly concluded: 'If Balbriggan was included in the National Planning Framework, we would be well-positioned to develop the town so that we are well-placed to deal with Brexit and other challenges down the road.'

You can make a submission to the Framework up to noon, next Friday by emailing at npf@housing.gov.ie

Fingal Independent

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