Thursday, 20th September 2018
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Government inaction could threaten 100s of new house builds in Waterford

Dear Editor

As the dust settles in the aftermath of the information contained within the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the National Development Plan (NDP). Cllr Eddie Mulligan has growing concerns around REAL South East regional development.

"It was very obvious, having heard the open air spat on WLR FM, between a South Kilkenny Councillor and a local colleague. We will never achieve the aspired population growth, hinted at in the NDP, unless the administration and governance concerns surrounding the City’s hinterland are tackled post haste." Commented Cllr Mulligan.

"I was privileged to represent Waterford Council, during several exchanges and presentations to the Boundary Committee. In the aftermath of an extremely professional and fair process, with every representation being considered, supported by factual evidence, I have no doubt that the recommendations of the Review Committee were the right decision. With this in mind and the non-action of the Government in seeking an alternative solution, I made two submissions to the NPF outlining the consequences of this inaction. Just how the NDP would have to incorporate a governance solution, with the best possible future administrational plans, which will ensure the fairest social, community and economic infrastructure for the people living and working in the immediate environs of the City and the South East as a whole?"

At recent Plenary Council Meetings, replying to questions from Cllr Mulligan, Councillors were informed that the appropriate department has not initiated any governance or administrational solutions for the area, as indicated by the Minister after dismissing the Boundary Committee’s recommendations. This non-action and lethargy is clearly preventing sustainable and structured planning for the hinterland to the North and North West of the Ferrybank area, according to Cllr Mulligan.

"The redevelopment plans for the North Quays, as a Strategic Development Zone, were solely initiated by Waterford Council. This is a clear indication of our future commitment to integrate Ferrybank, into the very heart of the City. North Quay plans for the Ferrybank area, include the delivery of circa 3,000 retail, service and high value employment opportunities, for the people of the immediate environs and 300 residential units. The failure of the Government to propose a resolution to administering our greater hinterland, threatens the further mixed development of starter homes, social housing and family residential units. This ongoing inaction will potentially hinder and deter the planning and development of 100s more sustainable residential units planned, as an extension of our current infrastructure." States Cllr Mulligan.

Cllr Mulligan believes that in the absence of a City boundary extension or a statutorily led administration the people of Waterford, Ferrybank, South Kilkenny and the wider South East, are being failed and forgotten. Inaction to future proof expansion planning, to provide the best quality of life possible for the next generation, is being delayed and denied.

"The failure of the Government and the National Planning Framework to address these administrational and governance issues, will ultimately be to the detriment of all citizens of Waterford and the greater South East region. By not enabling the region’s biggest urban area, to maximise its potential, as an economic driver and Gateway City, this Government is merely paying lip service to thought of sharing the investment wealth outlined in the NDP and doubling the population." Cllr Mulligan states.

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