Mullingar Chamber welcomes the publication of the National Planning Framework Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan


The Eastern and Midland Region of Ireland, including Mullingar is projected in the plan to be a Region of 2.85 million people by 2040, at least half a million more than today.

Mullingar Chamber articulated our position in support of balanced regional development for the Midlands, leveraging the strengths of Mullingar, Athlone and Tullamore in a submission as part of the consultation process of the National Planning Framework. These towns with existing, available infrastructure, located in proximity to Dublin are uniquely positioned to capitalise on the requirement for additional capacity. Our submission was prepared with advice from Hendrik van der Kamp, former Head of the School of Transport Engineering, Environment and Planning in Dublin Institute of Technology and vice-president of the European Council of Spatial Planners. 

We are encouraged to see the published plan promote a move towards self-sustaining, rather than commuter driven activity, promoting local employment while above all moving away from a sprawl-led development model. An integrated approach to the development of towns is expressed as a priority, playing to local strengths and securing employment opportunities to drive self-sustaining, rather than mainly housing-led development.

It is therefore surprising and extremely disappointing that our proposal for a balanced development model for the three main towns in the Midlands was not adopted, apparently due to political influence.

Elements of our submission including investment in infrastructure development, including the N4 and N52 have been included.

Highlights for Mullingar include funding of the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre, the building of a new engineering facility in Athlone Institute of Technology, additional MRI and surgical facilities for Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar and a new ambulance base.

The plan also identifies as a priority, enabling the complementary development of large and county towns in the Midlands on the key strategic and public transport routes in a regionally co-ordinated manner, with an enhanced emphasis on measures to promote self-sustaining economic and employment based development opportunities to match and catch-up on rapid phases of housing delivery in recent years.

The manner and detail of the actual implementation and rollout of the plan will be significant for Mullingar and will require a concerted effort from local stakeholders to ensure that the ability of the town to reach its maximum potential is realised.

Mullingar Chamber has also on Friday 16th February, made a submission on behalf of our members to the Eastern & Midlands Regional Assembly, Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy consultation phase. 






This entry was posted in news and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.