While emphasising the importance of Drogheda as a primary development centre within the Border region, the regional planning guidelines for that region adopted earlier this year also point out that Drogheda's strategic position within the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor, its location relatively close to the greater Dublin area, and its much improved road and rail connections to and from the capital, mean that factors outside the Border region will also be significant in driving Drogheda's future development. The guidelines suggest that the future growth of the town should be focused on achieving a compact urban form with a good balance of development between the northern and southern environs of Drogheda. In this context the guidelines endorse the preparation of an integrated strategic land use and transportation framework for Drogheda and its environs in Louth and Meath, which broadly conforms with the national spatial strategy, the Border regional planning guidelines and those of the greater Dublin area. Work on the preparation of such a framework is now under way.
The regional planning guidelines for the greater Dublin area also adopted earlier this year recommend that inter-regional co-ordination committees should be established to discuss co-ordination of inter-regional proposals and their monitoring and implementation. In particular the guidelines recommend, in view of the ongoing preparation by Drogheda Borough Council, Louth County Council and Meath County Council of an integrated land use and transport framework for Drogheda, that a co-ordination committee involving those authorities, the Border Regional Authority and the greater Dublin area review team should be established.
My Department is in the process of finalising, in consultation with regional and local authorities, best practice guidance on the implementation of regional planning guidelines. Within this it is intended to cover the question of the putting co-ordination arrangements in place to address planning policies and proposals for areas which straddle the boundaries of two or more regional or local authorities. It is my intention to issue this guidance to regional and local authorities by the end of this year.