'Growing Drogheda must be city' - study
Drogheda should be given city status, according to a study submitted to the Government.
The report - which was commissioned by the Drogheda City Status group - has pointed to the large growth in the population thanks to its rapidly-expanding satellite communities.
Dr Brian Hughes, a chartered planning and development expert, said in his report that the latest census figures point to a population of more than 83,000 in the Greater Drogheda Area.
Vincent Hoey, the chairman of the Drogheda City Status group, said: "We are living in an urban conglomeration of over 80,000.
"But we have no effective joined-up thinking to plan sensibly for the future because our local government is divided between Co Meath and Co Louth.
"Drogheda lost its town council, and we urgently need to be given city status so that we can have a city council that can best plan for the sustainable future growth of the region, provide housing, create jobs and nurture business.
"This is not some kind of a county land grab. Co Louth will remain Louth and Co Meath remains Meath, but an urban density this size requires a city administration to make the place work."
The area earmarked for city status includes the borough of Drogheda and the rapidly-expanding towns of Laytown, Bettystown and Mornington in the east of Meath.
A copy of the report has been submitted for inclusion in the Government's national planning framework
Meanwhile, the report's author, Dr Hughes, pointed out that the Belfast-Dublin economic corridor is growing at a major pace.
"Drogheda, thanks to its air, motorway, sea and rail links, is growing faster than anywhere else along this corridor," he said.
He added that the Government has the evidence in the report to act on the issue.