Background & Context
Waterford City and County Council is commencing the preparation of the City and County Development Plan 2022 – 2028. The City and County Development Plan sets out a framework or blue print for the proper planning and sustainable development for the whole of Waterford for a six years period.
It will include development policies, objectives and guidelines in addition to land use zoning which should be realistic and grounded in financial reality and be achieved through public, local or private resources.
The Development Plan will sit within he hierarchy of spatial plans as highlighted in Figure 1 and be consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, National Spatial Framework (NPF), National Strategic Outcomes (NSOs) and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy in areas such as climate action, clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, economic growth, reduced inequalities and innovation and infrastructure, as well as education and health. Each section of this issues paper will indicate alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
At this early stage of the process we need to find out the ‘big picture’ issues in Waterford which affect you. We want you to actively take part in shaping the future of our City and County. There will be further chances for you to participate in the plan-making process at a later date, and we encourage you to take every opportunity to play your part as it is your plan!! Details of public consultation events will be available through the website of Waterford City and County Council and through the local press.
Covid-19 and the Development Plan
When we act Together, Waterford is Stronger. It’s hard to put a value on resilience until you need it, and whilst the Covid 19 pandemic has demonstrated how fragile our economic systems really are, and how the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental are inextricably linked and intertwined, it has also demonstrated how the community of Waterford has risen to the challenge, by showing both resilience and innovation.
While the policy responses needed to build better resilience are far reaching for society as a whole at both a national and international level, for Waterford, the development plan provides a real opportunity for local communities to identify local solutions which will enhance their own community resilience to ‘shocks’, from whatever source. Enhancing our competitiveness and building resilience will enable us to sustain economic growth.
In framing the development plan and its policy objectives, it is very important that we avoid focussing on short term solutions to post-Covid 19 normality, such as burying climate change actions, enhancing capacity for private transport and scrapping public transport, decreasing housing density. Should we instead take the opportunity to deliver real long-term change in how we configure our places, so as to be:
• People and community centred, to organise work and education so as to be accessible from home or in close proximity, so as to avoid unnecessary/unsustainable travel patterns;
• To provide natural spaces for both people and biodiversity;
• To facilitate, provide and enhance opportunities for people to be more active and healthy in their daily lives;
• To provide the framework to ensure greater internal space for circulation and habitation in buildings;
• To facilitate and encourage local production and how we ensure a high standard of environmental quality while always considering the UN framework of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Fig 1: Planning Hierarchy in Ireland
Source: Government of Ireland, 2018, Project Ireland 2040: National Planning Framework
Waterford in Context
116,176 (up 2% on 2011)
Waterford City Metropolitan Area (excluding Kilkenny) has a population of 51,615 (up 2.9% on 2011)
Waterford Growth Enablers
- Delivering the North Quays Innovation District and new sustainable transport hub and bridge over the River Suir;
- Identifying infill and regeneration opportunities to intensify housing and employment development;
- Sustainable redevelopment of new greenfield areas for housing which is infrastructure and plan led.
- Enhance and diversify the development of Retail, Heritage, Culture and Tourism offering in Waterford;
- Expansion of the WIT through development of a Multi-Campus Technological University for the South-East and integration with the City and region;
- Prioritise the use of public transport and active modes and provide a Metropolitan Area wide public transport and strategic cycleway networks;
- Extension of the Waterford Greenway to link WIT to the City Centre and to the Kilkenny Greenway linking Waterford to New Ross;
- Enhanced regional connectivity through improved average journey times by road and rail to Dublin, Cork, Limerick and the region’s ports;
- Harness the power of rural clusters to act as rural economic drivers e.g. Blackwater/West Waterford and Comeragh Uplands;
- Exploit the opportunity for renewable and micro grid development given the scale up in electrical demand.
Vision for Waterford
“A City and County of signiﬁcance, driving regional growth and prosperity, realising its full potential on behalf of the local, regional and national population. A sustainable, dynamic and resourceful Place where people choose to visit, live, work, invest, experience and socialise in, as a matter of choice”.
- Is this what you think the development plan’s vision for Waterford should be or do you propose any changes to the vision stated above?
- Apart from the Growth Enablers mentioned above, what should the key priorities be for Waterford City and County?
- Which UN Sustainable Development Goals are most relevant in your view to the new development plan?
Waterford City & County Core Strategy Maps
Map 1: Roadmaps and Key Hotspots
Map 2: Transport Links