Mayor of Drogheda Cllr. Pio Smith, CEO of Louth County Council Joan Martin and Senior Planner Anthony Abbott King, pictured prior to this evening's launch of Louth County Council's "Westgate Vision" document.
Louth County Council has announced details of its urban design vision for the regeneration of the run-down Westgate area of Drogheda, focusing on Narrow West Street and its environs including the Old Abbey and Donaghy’s Mill.
Launched by Mayor of Drogheda, Councillor Pio Smith at an event this evening (06.06.18), Westgate Vision is described as a targeted planning response aimed at channelling investment into this core area, as an alternative to building on green field sites at the edge of the town.
Launching the vision, Cllr Smith said: “Drogheda, like many other towns across the country, witnessed rapid expansion of new housing and commercial areas outside the traditional town centre in the early 2000s.
“At the same time, this saw areas like Westgate and Narrow West Street at the western extremity of the town centre lose their appeal for residents and businesses, resulting in the current high levels of vacancy, under-utilisation and dereliction.
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“Westgate is an historic area of the town that is full of character. It’s also the gateway for visitors to the Boyne Valley so I am delighted that the area has been identified for regeneration. I look forward to seeing the vision coming to fruition over the coming years.”
It is anticipated that Westgate Vision will be delivered in three stages over a 10-year plus timeframe. Initial work, due to be carried out over the first three years, will improve the visual amenity and public facilities in the immediate area.
This will include repairing and repainting prominent buildings, removal of inappropriate signage and the provision of high quality shop fronts, soft landscaping of public areas and facilitating pedestrian access through Old Abbey Lane to Narrow West Street.
The vision also promotes investment in the sensitive adaptation and reuse of vacant buildings, as well as the development of vacant lands for new homes and businesses.
Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Joan Martin said: “Westgate Vision is an exciting guide for this key area of the town. For our urban centres to thrive, it is essential that they are attractive to residents and businesses alike.
“Westgate Vision is a holistic urban regeneration guide that balances the protection of heritage assets with townscape recovery – a blueprint to create a vibrant, liveable urban heritage district in the town. It is intended that the vision, which will be delivered on a phased basis over more than 10 years, will act as a catalyst for investment in the broader town centre.”
Louth County Council Director of Planning, Frank Pentony said: “Westgate Vision is a guide for landowners, investors and developers as to what can be achieved in this area of the town. “It has been developed in line with the National Planning Framework, falling under Project Ireland 2040’s ‘compact growth’ aim, designed to create urban centres of scale and quality to compete globally and to be drivers of growth and investment.
“We envisage that it will be funded through a combination of public and private investment and we will work with interested landowners and developers to realise this vision. Louth County Council will seek public investment under the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to assist in delivering the Vision as part of Project Ireland 2040.”
Further details on the vision can be found on www.louthcoco.ie.
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