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Brexit update at joint council meeting

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

THE Louth and Newry and Mourne Joint Committee received an update outlining progress on work such as the Southern Relief Road, Brexit, Narrow Water Bridge, Carlingford Lough Ferry and the Cross Border Greenway Project.

The purpose of the meeting, which was recently held in the Millennium Centre, Dundalk, was to discuss cross border issues in relation to The National Planning Development Framework.

Presentations on the National Planning Framework 2040 and the NMDC Development Plan were given and members were updated on the progress on key actions from the MOU Action Plan.

Members received a presentation from Dr Colm McCoy, Planning Advisor (ROI), on the draft National Planning Framework and Ms Catherine McEvoy from the Department of Infrastructure on the Framework for Co-operation.

Those present raised planning issues to ensure the Framework protected local rural communities and the need for a joined up approach to development such as the tourism industry and its infrastructure along the eastern seaboard.

Concerns were also expressed around the need for continued joined up planning to ensure border regions were not disadvantaged within the Regional Development Planning as these Development Frameworks form an integral part of how government set project and spend priorities.

Issues of coastal erosion, energy supply and road infrastructure were also discussed, while members reiterated strongly that the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor needed to feature prominently in the National Planning Framework.

Members expressed concerns around Brexit and its potential impact on delivery of local services for communities, for example, health services, ambulances and other emergency services.

It was agreed that this matter is researched following the meeting and added to the Joint Committee Action Plan.

The committee also agreed the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Forum, which will support the Joint Committee, and had its first meeting on June 20.

It included representation from the Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Organisations, the Health Service, Tourism Organisations and Youth Councils from across the two districts.

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