Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen says he is disappointed following confirmation that Tullamore will not be designated a Tier 1 growth town under the National Planning Framework.
Deputy Cowen says Tullamore’s exclusion from the plan will have a detrimental impact on communities across Offaly and the wider Midlands.
Deputy Cowen said, “It’s disappointing that Fine Gael have failed to deliver for Offaly in the National Planning Framework. This is clearly evident by the fact that Tullamore has not been designated as a Tier 1 growth town. This means Tullamore will not be prioritised when it comes to infrastructure development in the years ahead.
“The Government had the opportunity to designate Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar as joint Tier 1 growth centres to help achieve balanced economic development in the Midlands. This plan represented the opportunity to invest in infrastructure such as transport and communications between these towns to help act as a counterbalance to the unsustainable growth in Dublin. The Government has unfortunately passed up on this opportunity.
“Recent ESRI projections show that the Greater Dublin Area will continue to growth disproportionately unless there is an effective planning framework for balanced regional development. This will mean greater traffic congestion and a continuation of the housing crisis. It’s deeply disappointing that the Midlands haven’t been given the tools it needs to allow it act as a proper counterbalance to Dublin.
“The downplaying of towns such as Tullamore and Mullingar will only serve to accelerate the disproportionate development of Dublin. The Midlands are already struggling to cope with the fallout associated with Brexit, and now we need to cope with the fallout associated with this short-sighted plan.”