Pictured in Custom House Dublin is Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD (centre) with (l-r) new group City Regions Ireland (CRI), Dave Hickey, President of Galway Chamber, Thomas McHugh, Director of Public Affairs Cork Chamber, Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Dee Ryan, CEO Limerick Chamber and Gerald Hurley, CEO Waterford Chamber, CRI launched today with a document setting out 8 core principles to drive the urban agenda. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Limerick Chamber presents key issues at launch of City Regions Ireland
Limerick Chamber, as part of a new ‘City Regions Ireland’ approach, has put forward its case to Minister for Housing, Planning and Urban Development Eoghan Murphy TD on what is needed for business here to safeguard its future under Project Ireland 2040.
City Regions Ireland is a new group bringing together the Chambers of Commerce of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford – Ireland’s five cities as identified by the National Planning Framework, Ireland 2040.
It will work for the common goal of ensuring the country’s five cities are developed sustainably as the national and regional economic engines and to support a population projected in the National Planning Framework to grow by 25% in Dublin and 50% in the other four cities out to 2040.
Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan outlined key issues pertaining to the Limerick region at the meeting with Minister Murphy to launch the new group.
In collaboration, the five city chambers have formulated eight principals spanning infrastructure, housing and planning to inform policy making, maximise growth, and tackle the common issues and opportunities in the larger urban regions.
The eight principles are:
- Plan for Core Density & Reduce Urban Sprawl
- Increase Housing Supply
- Support International Connectivity through our Ports and Airports
- Develop Transport Infrastructure to Connect our Cities
- Invest in Public Transport
- Create Destinations of Higher Education
- Rejuvenate our City Centres
- Manage Water and Waste
However, in her individual presentation on Limerick, Ms. Ryan cited rejuvenation of Limerick city centre, housing, public transport and air connectivity at Shannon as some of the key issues for the regions.
She said: “This is an excellent forum as it gives us an opportunity to raise issues of common concern across the regions and, therefore, influence the type of policy change that is needed so we can maximise the potential of the regions, in keeping with Project Ireland 2040.
“At our inaugural presentation today, we each got to raise the issues of particular concern and ours will be no great surprise to anyone from this region. We have common ground across all eight principals but certainly, one at the top of our agenda is the rejuvenation of Limerick city centre. This is very much underpinned already by Limerick City and County Council’s €9.1m O’Connell Street Revitalisation, iconic projects like the Opera Site and Gardens International but we definitely need to look at other initiatives and incentives.
“Likewise, on housing, one of our biggest challenges is to deliver high-quality city centre dwelling but at the same time balance that with the need to preserve the best of Georgian architecture. Looking at the uptake of the Living City initiatives, that’s a balance that has not been achieved yet. So, this whole area needs to be revisited through a mix of looking at planning requirements and the incentives packages together. At the moment, it is cost-prohibitive and we need to bridge the gap.
“Public transport is another issue for us as we certainly would be keen for some new initiatives here, while air connectivity at Shannon is another crucial item. Currently, Dublin Airport gets 96% plus of all new passengers into Ireland so that leaves it next to impossible for other airports to grow. Given the direct correlation between air connectivity and employment, this is something we will believe the government will simply have to address if they are going to be able to deliver the type of balanced regional development they envisage under Project Ireland 2040.”
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Urban Planning Eoghan Murphy commented on the new City Regions Ireland group: “It’s essential that we as a country recognise the important part that our cities play in driving our national economy, they are centres of business, culture, education and innovation for everyone, and not just for those who live in them. I’m happy to see that Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have come together for the collective betterment of urban Ireland, and I look forward to working with City Regions Ireland to ensure that our cities grow and develop sustainably into the future.”
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