Following the adoption of the Waterford City and County Development Plan 2022-2028 by elected members of Waterford City and County Council, the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has commended the local authority on ‘a coherent and appropriate strategy for the delivery of key national planning objectives including the promotion of compact growth and town and village centre regeneration.’
The Plan, prepared by WCCC Planning Authority, is a statutory planning document, made in accordance with Section 9(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), and covers the six-year period from 2022 - 2028.
Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council said, “With our ultimate aims of enhancing growth of the wider city region and driving regional prosperity to make Waterford the best place to live, work and invest, this Development Plan provides us with a clear roadmap to enable us to attain those objectives.”
“Throughout the process there was extensive public consultation and collaboration. In fact, with a total of 1,155 written submissions, it was the highest level of engagement received for any draft development plan. It is evident that the people of Waterford care deeply about how our city and county develop, and Waterford City and County Council is committed to a proactive and dynamic approach towards sustainable social, environmental and economic development of the region.”
Correspondence from the OPR stated, “The preparation of the City Neighbourhood Strategy, Appendix 21 ‘Waterford City and County Regeneration and Opportunity Sites’, and inclusion of brownfield targets for the county’s settlements within the core strategy table are all welcomed and demonstrates the planning authority’s objective to support compact growth and the provisions of NSO 1 of the National Planning Framework.”
It added, “Furthermore the delivery of a robust renewable energy strategy, which provides for measurable renewable energy targets, demonstrates the planning authority’s clear commitment to supporting national renewable energy targets under the Climate Action Plan 2021.”
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary said the OPR correspondence was a great endorsement of the Development Plan. “Overall, it was very positively received. It’s testament to the huge amount of planning, research, and public input over the last two years. This has resulted in a solid policy and spatial framework that will shape Waterford city and county, for the better, for the future.”
There are some elements of the Development Plan that will be redressed. The OPR cited reservations about the further development of the Duckspool area of Dungarvan, however, fully supports the plan to ‘prioritise regeneration on sites that are amenable to walking and cycling to the town centre, such as Shandon and Kilrush, and whereby the most central development sites in the town are prioritised for new development first.’
The Development Plan will come into effect on July 19th 2022, six weeks after the date on which it was adopted, this period facilitating the final preparation and assembly of Development Plan documents for general use in the day-to-day operation of the Planning Authority and broader strategic investment decision making. The Development Plan also provides the basis on which Local Area Plans will be prepared for parts of Waterford City, the Key Town of Dungarvan, Tramore and other urban towns across the county over the lifetime of the Plan.
An interim version of the Development Plan including Volume 1: Written Statement, Volume 2: Development Management Standards and associated land use zoning and specific development objective mapping is available on the council website www.waterfordcouncil.ie until July 19th, after which the complete suite of Development Plan documents including all environmental reports and appendices will be is available for inspection at the following locations:
- Online at www.waterfordcouncil.ie
- Customer Care Desk, Waterford City & County Council, Baileys New Street
- Customer Care Desk, Waterford City & County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan
- Waterford City and County Council branch libraries.
Given the large quantity of spatial data which informs the Development Plan, it is not possible to make this fully available in printed format and as such it is recommended that this is accessed via the Development Plan Story Maps that will be available on the council website.