2. Strategic Planning

Dúnta16 M.F., 2022, 09:00 - 14 D.F., 2022, 17:00
The preparation of the Carlow-Graiguecullen Plan will be informed by policies and objectives established in higher level planning documents including the National Planning Framework, the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies for the Southern Region, the Eastern and Midlands Region and the County Development Plans for Carlow and Laois, as appropriate.

Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES)

Under the settlement typology of the RSES’ Carlow and Graiguecullen have been designated as a Key Town. This designation has been informed by criteria designated under the National Planning Framework including:

  • Location of settlement in the context of the five city regions.
  • Scale of employment provision and net commuting flows.
  • Extent of local services and amenities.
  • Extent of trips by sustainable modes.
  • Rate and pace of previous development between 1996-2016.
  • Accessibility and influence in a regional or sub-regional context.
  • Track record of performance and delivery and commitment to achieving compact growth.

Strategic Planning Hierarchy Figure

Fig. 1: Spatial Planning Hierarchy


Key strategic issues for Carlow-Graiguecullen as defined under the RSESs are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Key strategic issues for Carlow, Graiguecullen as contained in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies include;
  • Designation of Carlow-Graiguecullen as a key Town to function as an economic self-sustaining regional driver and a focus of significant growth.
  • Carlow-Graiguecullen has an inter-regional role given its location within the Southern and Eastern Midlands Regional Assembly regions.
  • Opportunities afforded to the urban area as part of a network of regionally significant drivers of collaboration and growth located on the Waterford-Kilkenny-Carlow- Dublin M9/Rail Network/Axis.
  • Important regional center of education and research, by the designation of Carlow IT as part of a Multi-Campus Technological University for the South East (now established as the South East Technological University - SETU).
  • Support for town centre led economic regeneration with improvements in the public realm through development and connectivity of key urban regeneration locations.
  • Need for investment in key infrastructural assets (e.g. roads, water, wastewater, public transport, active travel etc.)
  • Need for investment and support in the delivery of culture, arts and tourism infrastructure together with other physical and community infrastructure.
  • Supports development of under-utilised lands along the River Barrow as a strategic natural asset subject to planning and environmental considerations.

Carlow-Graiguecullen is acknowledged to be an urban centre of large population scale, which functions as a self-sustaining regional driver. It is envisaged that Key Towns such as Carlow-Graiguecullen will be a focus for significant growth (more than 30%).

Carlow and Laois County Development Plans

Under the provisions of the statutory County Development Plans for both Carlow and Laois it is a policy of both councils to prepare a statutory Joint Local Area Plan (JULAP) for the Greater Carlow Urban Area which will be informed by a Local Transport Plan. The Carlow County Development Plan 2022-2028 contains strategic policies and objectives for Carlow Town which will inform the LAP, including land use zoning objectives pertaining to the former Town Council area as indicated on Map 15.1. This new JUAP will provide a coordinated planning framework to identify and deliver strategic sites and regeneration areas for the future physical, economic and social development of the area. It will seek to achieve targeted compact growth in compliance with national policy and to ensure that it has the capacity to grow sustainably and secure investment as a Key Town.

Other key strategic objectives for the Town include;


The long-term vision of Project Carlow 2040 A Vision for Regeneration is to transform Carlow Town into a sustainable high-quality urban environment that will offer business opportunities and a better quality of life for all. Through the implementation of the Strategy the Town will become:

  • A town that prioritises the wellbeing of its visitors and residents.
  • A centre for education, cutting edge business and high- quality retailing.
  • An innovative, ambitious, and successful place.

Climate Change

Carlow-Graiguecullen has the opportunity to adapt to climate change measures through its physical urban regeneration and a focus on:

  • Development in the core of the town.
  • Becoming aware of our impact on the climate and making a positive change for the future.
  • Placing an emphasis on healthy living through urban design practices.
  • Protection and use of green and blue Infrastructure.

Economic Development

Carlow Town is the principal centre of economic activity in the area. There are also a number of established businesses in Graiguecullen that play an important role within the town. The area has many economic attributes such as its third level education provision and other educational institutes, proximity to Dublin, the River Barrow, tourism, retail services and cultural facilities. It has a role as a major employment, retail and services centre. Development of Carlow Town as a regional and inter-regional growth driver will require a significant increase in job opportunities to sustain the existing and growing population.

Residential Development

As a designated Key Town, Carlow-Graiguecullen is to play a critical role in underpinning the RSES’ and ensuring a consolidated spread of growth beyond cities to the sub-regional level. The success of Carlow-Graiguecullen as a Key Town will be dependent on the delivery of targeted compact growth of a minimum of 30%, through regeneration and redevelopment of vacant, infill and/or brownfield sites.
The Carlow and Laois County Development Plans seek to re-establish a residential population within the Town Centre through the promotion of and provision for Town Centre living, as well as improved public realm spaces and better access and promotion of civic uses.

Enabling Infrastructure

The goal of achieving compact growth will require improved accessibility, sustainable mobility, and the requisite infrastructure to enable Carlow-Graiguecullen Town to grow as a Key Town. The importance of protecting and investing in road, rail, water, wastewater, and energy infrastructure is imperative in order to facilitate the sustainable development of Carlow-Graiguecullen as a Key Town.



  • What is your vision for the Carlow- Graiguecullen Joint Urban Area?
  • How can the Carlow-Graiguecullen Joint Urban Area best contribute to supporting its designation as a Key Town?
  • How can the town be physically, economically, socially and culturally enhanced so as to make it an attractive place to live, work and visit?
  • How can regeneration and economic growth be sustainably achieved in Carlow-Graiguecullen?

Please see attached.   Regards,   Peter Thomson,
A chara,   Please find attached the submission of the Southern Regional Assembly to the Pre-Draft Consultation on preparation of a Joint Urban Local Area Plan for the Carlow-...
To whom it may concern,   Please see submission attached regarding Carlow-Graiguecullen Joint Urban Local Area Plan Review on behalf of Theresa Abbey, Derek Abbey, Andy Doyle and...
To whom it may concern, Please see submission attached regarding Carlow-Graiguecullen Joint Urban Local Area Plan Review on behalf of Anthony Abbey Please see enclosed -...