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Tuesday, 16th April 2024

Just four local Councillors make submissions to Drogheda Joint Area Plan

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Drogheda's famous viaduct over the river Boyne.

It was open to everyone to have their say on what they wanted for Drogheda but of the 210 submissions made to the Drogheda Joint Area Plan, just four were submitted by sitting Councillors - Pio Smith, Michelle Hall, Elaine McGinty, Paddy McQuillan and Stephen McKee.

In his submission, Labour Councillor Pio Smith says that the vacancy and dereliction in Drogheda should be addressed as a priority.

“Ideally the plan would provide a pathway to tackle vacancy and dereliction, drive future development and breathe new life into the town centre” he says. “Drogheda is top of the waiting list for the Department of Heritage Collaborative Town Centre Health Check since 2022. However, to date, no funding has been provided by the department to carry out the CTCHC for the town.

“This survey would identify vacant and derelict buildings in the town centre and surrounding areas. It would provide much valuable information on numbers of people visiting the town centre, shopping trends and preferences as well as indications for future use of the town centre.

Cllr. Smith says the JLAP should also focus on how best to preserve and regenerate the town’s built heritage at Laurence Gate, Magdalene Tower, St Mary’s Abbey, Millmount, The Buttergate, The old Drogheda Town Walls, The Dale and The Marsh Road/Ship Street.

“All of the above are in danger of slow disintegration due to lack of nvestment” Cllr. Smith says. The plan should also have a focus on measures that can be taken to link the Buttergate with Millmount and the Dale. “The JLAP could focus on re energising this area as a vibrant, attractive and exciting place that provides an impetus for future investment and development.”

In her submission, Councillor Michelle Hall, says: “... in order to future proof Drogheda, the Joint Local Area Plan should be green, resilient and inclusive, making Drogheda more efficient and well connected with better access to services. Investments such as establishing circular economies, ensuring adequate water and sanitation services, and improving low-carbon transit options to reap significant dividends for urban residents.

“The plan should invest in a ‘people-in-place’ approach to manage the implications of conflict and forced displacement in urban settings: This means accounting for considerations across two dimensions: first, the vulnerabilities of people being displaced, and second, the needs of the place where they are located. As more people access limited services, this places an extra layer of stress on an already fragile system. Interventions, therefore, need to shift from humanitarian assistance to one that integrates displaced people into the urban fabric in a sustainable manner. (World Bank, 2022).

Independent Councillor Paddy McQuillan raised a number of issues including the fact that although Drogheda is officially the largest town in Ireland, it has no public toilet facilities.

He also underlined the need for a new public playground on the south side of Drogheda which is witnessing massive growth in population.

McQuillan also says that Millmount should be developed as the cultural centre for Drogheda. “It has been overlooked for development for too long” he said. “I believe that the council should liaise with the management of Millmount and explore this opportunity to create a Cultural quarter and have this as our focal point for tourists visiting our town.”

In her submission East Meath Councillor Cllr Elaine McGinty covers a number of themes including population growth and infrastructure, sustainability, accessibility, public transport, flooding and joint risk planning, energy, water supply and infrastructure, retail and tourism.

East Meath Councillor Stephen McKee raised several issues of concern to him, including: recreation and community facilities, roads infrastructure and public transport, housing, crime, public infrastructure, local jobs and quality of life.

You can read these and all of the other submissions in full at https://consult.drogheda.ie/en

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