The National Planning Framework, which is due to be published in coming weeks, will set out the strategy for economic development for the country over the next 30 years and the Atlantic Economic Corridor must be strongly embedded in the plan, according to Sean Canney TD.
The Galway East TD said, ‘We need to provide a counterbalance to the over-intensification of development on the East coast, particularly Dublin. The challenge for the NPF is to ensure that infrastructure is delivered to provide the necessary counterbalance.
Infrastructure lead development such as roads, rail, water, sewerage and broadband are critical components to allow us develop in a balanced way. We cannot allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated. We need to facilitate development in the regions. This will lead to sustainable job creation and will keep people living in the local areas.
‘In the past we have waited for industry to come and then our infrastructure followed, but this is not good planning as can be seen with the chaotic traffic congestion and lack of housing in Dublin and Galway.
‘The Atlantic Economic Corridor is a concept to harness the natural assets along the West of Ireland stretching from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Derry. We have the potential to create real jobs from our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. We also need to develop Knock, Shannon and Cork Airports together with the ports in Waterford, Cork, Foynes, Galway and Killybegs.
‘We have the opportunity now to commit to investment in the Atlantic Economic Corridor, which is strongly supported by the Chambers of Commerce the American Chambers, Western Development Commission and Western Regional Authority.
‘The Atlantic Economic Corridor is the vehicle by which we can create the critical mass required to develop a better Ireland. Towns like Tuam, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Athenry and Gort can deliver jobs if investment in infrastructure is delivered.