Labour Senator Ged Nash has asked the government to allow Drogheda to achieve city status.
The Co. Louth town has a population of over 80,000 and Nash is disappointed that the move has not been mentioned in the National Planning Framework.
In a press release, he said:
"Drogheda is Ireland's largest town and the broader urban area now has a population in excess of 80,000. Despite this size and recent growth there is not one mention of it in the draft National Planning Framework.
"If the National Planning Framework is to realistically plan for the future growth of Ireland, it must provide a pathway to city status for large towns like Drogheda that will continue to expand in size in the coming years.
"This is not a case of special pleading for Drogheda, but an appeal for the government to merely accept the facts on the ground and to reflect this evidence in our national planning policy.
"The greater Drogheda area has grown by 80% sinc e the mid-1990’s and it now meets the criteria laid down for city designation by the OECD and European Commission under its ‘harmonised definition of cities.’
"Full consideration should be given to classifying the Drogheda area as a city under this internationally recognised definition. Being strategically located on the east coast, along the M1 motorway, with strong air, rail and sea links Drogheda is positioned to relieve the pressure on the greater Dublin area.
"The Government must recognise that Drogheda will continue to grow, so it must be given the tools, structures and resources needed so it can plan for future growth in a sustainable way ensuring that the housing, transport and other economic infrastructure needed is provided for now."