Mayo County Council is commencing the preparation of a Local Area Plan (LAP) for Ballina. The purpose of this LAP is to set out a land use strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area incorporating a framework for the development of transportation, housing, retail, heritage, employment, social and community facilities.

Purpose of the Issues Paper?

The purpose of this Issues Paper is intended to get you thinking about the type of land-use issues that might be addressed in the new Ballina Local Area Plan, and to encourage you to make a submission on these issues, or any other planning issues that you think are important. It is also providing an important opportunity for the residents of Ballina to get involved in the plan preparation process.

We are interested in hearing from everybody, not just those directly affected by the LAP, to identify ‘bigger picture’ issues that need to be addressed in the LAP on how Ballina should develop into the future. Whether you are a younger or an older person, an individual or a community/sports group, a business, a resident, an entrepreneur or a voluntary organisation, your opinion matters.

What is a Local Area Plan?

A Local Area Plan (LAP) is a land-use plan which sets out the development strategy for an area within the lifetime of the plan. The plan contains an overall vision for the area and includes specific land use objectives to guide future development to achieve this vision.

The new LAP will consider the current context of Ballina, in terms of population trends, socio economic factors, land use changes, the need for distribution of facilities and amenities, availability of services and infrastructure, along with heritage and environmental considerations.

The LAP must be consistent with the objectives of the higher order plans, including the Development Plan, the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Region and the National Planning Framework.

Ballina functions as the main economic driver for a large area of north Mayo. Ballina is a Key Town in the RSES. The RSES seeks to support and grow the role of Ballina both as a stand-alone economic driver and integrating as part of the network of other key population centre’s and economic drivers.

As part of the new plan, a new zoning map will be prepared to take account of current and future population needs of Ballina, subject to environmental and other planning considerations.

Why replace the existing Ballina Town & Environs Development Plan?

Following the abolition of Town Councils under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, the current Ballina Town & Environs Development Plan 2009-2015 (as extended) is required to be replaced by a Local Area Plan once it expires.