4.3.2 Waterford MASP (Ferrybank/Belview)
4.3.2 Waterford MASP (Ferrybank/Belview)
The NPF has confirmed Waterford’s status as the principal urban centre of the South-East with the objective for the City to become an important driver of national growth and a ‘Regional City of Scale’ with a defined Metropolitan Area. The Waterford Metropolitan Area is located around Waterford Harbour and the River Suir. It is centred on the City of Waterford and its suburbs with an extensive rural area beyond the built-up area which includes a number of small rural settlements such as Passage East, Cheekpoint in Co. Waterford, Slieverue, and extending almost as far as Lower Kilmacow. The Port of Waterford is located at Belview, approximately 5km east of the City Centre in County Kilkenny which is also included. The Waterford MASP area encompasses an area of 143sq.km of which 85.05sq.km is in Waterford City and County Council and 57.60sq.km is within Kilkenny County Council’s administrative area. NPO 8 sets out the Minimum Target Population for Waterford City and Suburbs by 2040 of 81,000. This will require targeted growth focused on significant housing and employment locations identified.
The MASP provides a high level strategic framework for the sustainable development of the Waterford Metropolitan Area based on the ambition for the City and Metropolitan area as an innovation-centred, enterprising, University City with a diverse population, a vibrant cultural sector, a thriving economy, and a significant and substantial profile that brings European and international recognition.
The ambitious targets for over 60% population growth by 2040 seek to build on the critical mass of Waterford as a balanced Concentric Metropolitan Area, north and south of the River Suir. In the long term, an increased proportion of the population will live north of the River. The steps required to achieve this Core MASP objective are both long term and short term.
The Waterford PLUTS 2004 set out a strategy for the balanced and sustainable growth of Waterford, which proposed to bring the North Quays and the northern suburbs fully into the social and economic life of the City. The study advocated more balanced growth between the north and south sides of the River Suir. More recently, Waterford City and County Council and Kilkenny County Council have described this objective as the ‘Concentric City’. The principles outlined in PLUTs have been incorporated and developed through to the Waterford MASP area and provide the basis for a new set of Guiding Principles to build critical mass and transform the Waterford Metropolitan Area.
The RSES sets out the Vision Statement for the Waterford Metropolitan Area:
Waterford aims to be a dynamic, concentric, modern European city of scale and significance, a UNESCO Learning City, driving national and regional growth, prosperity, innovation and creativity which is supported by focused investment in transformational rejuvenation across the Metropolitan Area, a vibrant and diverse University City with a high quality of life for all through a high standard of physical and community infrastructure and housing options, education, amenities and opportunities for employment.
Short term steps to achieve MASP objectives
In terms of physical development, the early enablers that will start the process are (a) the development of a new bridge to link the City Centre to the North Quays, (b) relocation of the railway station to a new Integrated Transport Hub on the North Quays and (c) development of the Abbey Link Road in Ferrybank. All three enablers support significant population and employment growth north of the river.
Long Term steps to achieve MASP objectives:
In order to rebalance the city, there is a need for a high degree of co-ordination across the entire Metropolitan Area. The implementation structures will need to oversee a rebalancing of overall population in favour of higher growth and population allocations north of the River. Significant growth targets set for the overall Metropolitan Area will not impede growth or development in the city centre and suburbs south of the river. The Guiding Principles of the Waterford MASP are set out in the RSES.
126.96.36.199 Implementation of Waterford MASP
Through RPO226, the SRA will establish robust structures of cross-sectoral stakeholder and cross-boundary local authority steering group committees for the implementation phase to ensure the delivery of the RSES and the MASP is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Delivery of these goals requires the early establishment of MASP implementation structures following adoption of the RSES. Kilkenny County Council will work proactively with the Southern Regional Assembly and Waterford City and County Council to establish a MASP area steering committee for the implementation phase of the Waterford MASP.
Ferrybank and Belview Port (Port of Waterford) is included in the Waterford Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP) area and although located in Kilkenny, will be developed as part of an agreed Waterford Metropolitan Strategy.
For the purposes of this Core Strategy, the Council will use the figures set out in the RSES, which predicts an uplift of 1,452 people for Ferrybank/Belview between 2016 and 2027 (See Table 4.2). The Ferrybank-Belview LAP was adopted in 2017 and provides for significant housing opportunities within the plan area up to 2023.
The Council has ensured in the short term, through a Local Area Plan for the environs of Waterford within County Kilkenny (Ferrybank/Belview LAP 2017), that there is sufficient development capacity for the various land uses required to support the international Gateway.
Given the need for change to a more balanced concentric city which would require significant growth, development and accompanying infrastructure on the northern side of the River Suir (predominantly in Co Kilkenny), the population distribution for the MASP area requires review by the MASP Implementation Group.
Kilkenny County Council is committed to developing Ferrybank/Belview as part of a concentric city as envisaged in the Waterford MASP and remains conscious of maintaining the area’s social, cultural, sporting and political identity into the future.
For the Waterford MASP area, the Council will support the growth of Waterford city as the principal urban centre of the South-East and the Waterford MASP with the objective for the City to become an important driver of national growth and a ‘Regional City of Scale’ within a defined Metropolitan Area. The Council will assist in the implementation of the Waterford MASP by reviewing the Ferrybank/Belview Local Area Plan to be consistent with the RSES MASP in a timely manner and incorporating it into the Kilkenny City and County Development Plan by means of variation. The Council will also adopt and give effect to the guiding principles of the Waterford MASP as set out on page 320 of the RSES and stated in text above.
4I To review the Ferrybank Belview Local Area Plan having regard to the MASP and to incorporate into the Kilkenny City & County Development Plan by way of variation.
 Waterford MASP Southern Regional Assembly RSES p309
 Waterford Metropolitan Strategic Area Plan Southern Regional Assembly RSES p309
 Ibid p309
 Ibid p324
 Ibid p319
 Ibid p324
 RSES Population Projections 2026 and 2031 for the Waterford Metropolitan Area page 323.