Chapter 1: Waterford and the Development Plan
This Development Plan tells the story of where and how we want Waterford to grow. It draws on our historical roots, and uses our skills and expertise to continue sustainable social, environmental, and economic growth well into the future, with a focus on creating vibrant and resilient communities.
The Plan has been prepared by the Waterford City and County Council Planning Authority, and covers the whole local authority area. It is a statutory planning document, made in accordance with Section 9(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), and covers a six-year period from 2022 - 2028.
The Plan has been written in the context of national strategies, policy and guidance as reflected in the National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040 (NPF), and the Southern Regional Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (SRSES), and should be read as a whole document rather than as individual sections. The plan-making process has also been informed by a wide range of legislation which is detailed in 1.7 below, including a number of European Directives and their associated legislation, including (but not limited to):
- Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC) (Appendix 19 Environmental Report)
- Stage 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (Appendix 13)
- Habitats Directive Assessment (92/43/EEC) (Appendix 20 Natura Impact Report)
- EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC)
- Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
The Plan aims to be concise and visionary, and targets what we want to change. It does this by focusing on issues which are nationally or regionally important, or which can be best dealt with by Waterford City and County Council, and also by the Council working in partnership with other stakeholders.
The Development Plan will be used to inform subsequent Local Area Plans (LAPs), following adoption of this Development Plan. It is intended to prepare new LAPs for areas in Waterford City, Dungarvan, Tramore, Dunmore East, Portlaw, Lismore, and Gaeltacht na nDéise during the lifetime of this Development Plan. These will cover a wider range of locally specific planning issues in more detail. The Core Strategies and associate land use zoning provisions of these LAPs will be consistent with the content of this Development Plan.
The Plan is supported by an Action Program which shows how we will realise our objectives and goals with the help of our partners/ stakeholders based on the requirements for monitoring the Development Plan implementation.
This Plan is a unitary Development Plan for the amalgamated Waterford City and County administrative area, and supersedes the previous separate City, County and Dungarvan Town Development Plans and relevant Local Area Plans. It also represents a continuum of the Waterford PLUTS (Planning, Land Use and Transport Study) for the City, and this Development Plan seeks to continue and expand on that Strategy for the next six years, in accordance with national and regional policy objectives.
1.1. Our Vision
By 2028, Waterford City and County will have continued to grow and will be evolving to become an even more attractive, prosperous, resilient and sustainable place, anchored by Waterford Cityasthe Regional Capital, a University and Learning City, and an economic driver for the region. It will be an excellent place to live, visit and do business.
We will be recognised as the Regional Capital and for:
- Our enterprise and inventiveness in the knowledge economy and high-value markets – with a particular focus on biopharmaceuticals, technological innovation, tourism, food and drink, fishing and the primary industries
- The development and growth of our educational capital through our University and its synergies with the broader economy; and,
- Our unique built, historic, cultural and natural environment, which will be protected and, where appropriate, enhanced as a key asset in underpinning a high quality of life and place.
Decision makers will have acted confidently and taken the courageous decisions necessary to further develop a robust, resilient and diversified economy.
The Council will have taken a proactive approach towards development that promotes and facilitates appropriate and sustainable development, that nonetheless:
- Ensures the sustainable use of natural resources;
- Enables us to live within the area’s environmental capacity;
- Enables and enhances our resilience to climate change; and,
- Creates a more open, diverse and inclusive society.
Although the Council will lead the way, many other stakeholders and organisations will be involved in delivering the Vision for our City and County. To make the Vision a reality, and to contribute towards the NPF and SRSES aims of increasing sustainable economic growth and compact urban development, we have developed a series of aims. These are to:
- Provide a strong framework for investment decisions which will help to grow and diversify the regional economy in a sustainable manner, and promote and facilitate an improvement in the quality of life in all parts of the City and County;
- Promote the need to use resources more efficiently and effectively whilst protecting and where appropriate enhancing our assets; and,
- Take on the urgent challenges of climate change.
To support these aims, this Plan will need to:
- Make sure the area has enough homes and job opportunities to support the level of services and facilities needed to maintain and improve quality of life;
- Ensure an adequate supply of zoned and serviced land at appropriate locations;
- Protect and, where appropriate, enhance our valued assets and resources, including biodiversity, the historic and natural environment, and our cultural heritage;
- Help create and support sustainable mixed communities, and the provision of associated infrastructure, which will meet the highest standards of placemaking, urban and rural design, and cater for the needs of the whole population;
- Encourage opportunities for greater digital connectivity across the City and County, and
- Extend, where appropriate and feasible, and make the most efficient use of the transport network, reducing the need for people to travel and making sure that walking, cycling and public transport are available and attractive choices.