Government urged not to leave Drogheda behind – Munster
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today slammed the government for their exclusion of Drogheda in the Draft National Planning Framework. Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Deputy Munster said that Drogheda had been stripped of any semblance of power it once had, and that as the largest town in Ireland and its strategic location it deserved inclusion as a large urban centre in the National Planning Framework.
Deputy Munster said:
“The Minister is seeking balanced regional development, yet excludes Drogheda which is best placed to serve as the main urban centre in the north east in terms of population, location, services and transport links. Drogheda is the 6th largest urban centre in the state. Yet, only five urban centres are included in the plan.
“Drogheda’s population is growing faster than the other five urban centres, and that growth will continue, especially with the Northern Environs plan which will bring in an additional 20,000 people.
“Drogheda 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 with the Labour Party.
“Drogheda has a young, well-educated population. We have high speed broadband, transport links, proximity to the airport and our own port.
“Brexit is coming down the track and Drogheda needs to be ready. We need investment in our business parks and business development, investment in infrastructure including Drogheda Port and we need to remove the slip road toll plazas which currently split the town in half and are damaging to business and community.
“If Drogheda 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. Drogheda’s Borough Council needs to be reinstated, and ultimately we need city status. We can’t repeat the mistakes of the past under Labour, Fine Gael and Labour. Drogheda can’t be left behind again.”