In cooperation with the Centre for Cross Border Studies, the ICLRD has started an exciting new programme to develop a cross-border planning network. This initiative has been made possible through funding from the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme; administered through the Special EU Programmes Body.

Commencing in 2009 for three years, the new network (CroSPlaN) will undertake the following activities:

  • Two action research projects per year that will enhance emerging cross-border activities and expertise in the vital area of spatial planning;
  • One executive training programme per year for at least 20 central and local government officials, councillors and community leaders to assist them in both delivering and supporting these activities;
  • An annual conference and technical workshop; the dual function of which is to facilitate networking and address identified areas of need.

In the period from July-to-December 2009, the programme initiated its first year of activities in the following projects:

  1. Action research on the implications of the Review of Public Administration (RPA) and new planning legislation in the Republic of Ireland on inter-jurisdictional spatial planning;
  2. Action research on best practices in cross-border and inter-jurisdictional spatial planning and regional development within the EU and elsewhere that can inform cooperation in the Irish cross-border region.
  3. Executive training programme for Councillors, officials and private sector representatives in the Newry-Dundalk Twin City Region.
  4. The ICLRD annual conference (sponsored by SEUPB) on Preparing for Economic Recovery: Planning Ireland, North and South, out of a Recession.
  5. A technical workshop on Evidence-Informed Planning: Making Information Accessible to Build Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation

The 2010 work programme is currently underway. Again this will include an action research element, focusing on groundwater management and residential development, and an executive training programme for Councillors, officials and private sector representatives in the Letterkenny / Derry / Londonderry Gateway.

These different research, training and outreach activities are linked to each other and guided by the CroSPlaN Steering Committee which, to date, has met in September 2009 and March 2010. The purpose of this Committee is to review progress to date and identify the focus of future action research and planned events.


  • Dr. Chris Boomer, Planning Service Northern Ireland
  • Mr. Ciarán Tracey, Leitrim County Council
  • Mr. Andy Pollak, Centre for Cross Border Studies
  • Mr. Padraig Maguire, Border Regional Authority
  • Ms. Deborah Peel, University of Ulster
  • Mr. Danny McSorley, Omagh District Council
  • Mr. Colin McKenna, ICBAN