The NPF and Project Ireland 2040 together set out the Government’s high level plan for shaping the future growth and development of the country in the period to 2040. The NPF specifically identifies the need for a focused approach to compact, sequential and sustainable development in Dundalk and Drogheda given their unique location on the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor and their status as designated regional growth centres.
Following interaction with my Department, Louth County Council has submitted a proposal for the creation of two new senior positions, one each in Drogheda and Dundalk, to enhance planning and development within the towns, The new roles will also support the delivery of critical objectives under the National Planning Framework (NPF) including important coordination with Meath County Council in the context of Drogheda.
The Council has sought financial assistance from my Department in this regard and I am considering that request at the moment.
I understand that Louth County Council has recently issued notice of their intention to commence the review of the existing Louth County Development Plan 2015-2021 and to prepare a new Louth County Development Plan for the period 2021-2027. Following on from the Development Plan review to facilitate an integrated approach and ensure alignment of plan hierarchy, it would be prudent for the local area plan to be prepared on foot of the preparation of the Development Plan. However, the precise timeframe for the preparation of local area plans is a matter for the relevant local authorities.