Then new NWRA Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy provides a high-level development framework for the Northern and Western Region that supports the implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the relevant economic policies and objectives of Government. It provides a 12-year strategy and the identification of priority actions for Key Towns of which Ballinasloe is one just a handful selected. Key Towns are those regionally strategic employment centres of significant scale that can act as regional drivers that complement and support the higher-order urban areas within the settlement hierarchy Key future priorities listed include, revitalising the town centre and to reduce vacancies and support the vitality and vibrancy of these core shopping streets/side streets and the town centre.
Promoting the town’s heritage as an important Market town supporting the future delivery of a regularised outdoor market/farmer’s market at a suitable location. Promoting sustainable land use and transport solutions, whilst capitalising on the opportunity presented by the railway service and the M6 Motorway, so that sustainable travel, including walking and cycling, and integrated land use and transportation become central to the development of new neighbourhoods . Pages 124 and 125 set out the provisioning of a range of facilities, amenities and supporting services to serve the needs of the town, including educational, recreational, religious, social, community and civic requirements for children, youths, adults and older persons to serve a growing community.
Fostering economic development and employment creation by optimising the potential of the town’s strategic location and enhancing Ballinasloe as a place of employment through the provision of a positive and flexible framework for the creation of new employment opportunities is key. That report seeks to encourage and facilitate the sustainable development of the tourism potential of Ballinasloe and its environs in a manner that respects, builds on, protects and enhances the cultural, built and natural heritage of the town and the local amenities within the plan area including natural heritage and biodiversity. Sustainable walking and cycling routes and maximizing rail links are also identified. It is hoped that as well as being a strong priority signal to the Department of Rural and Community Affairs these ambitious plans will find practical milestones in the soon to be published County Development 2022 to 2028
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