Closed3 Nov, 2021, 8:59am - 3 Nov, 2021, 9:00am


1.0 Introduction

This written statement will provide a brief description and development strategy for Trim. A detailed Local Area Plan for the town will be prepared during the life of this Plan.

2.0 Town Context/Character

The medieval walled town of Trim has immense heritage significance and is located circa 14km from Navan and 20km from Dunshaughlin. The town enjoys the benefits of being located in an attractive setting along the banks of the River Boyne. The town and Trim Castle attract over 100,000 visitors a year and is well known internationally.

Trim is identified for inclusion in the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund due to the high level of employment in the town. A range of enterprises are present in a compact attractive town centre, supporting employment opportunities. There are also enterprise zones at Oaktree Business Park, Scurlockstown Business Park and employment lands to the south of the Navan Road.

Although it lacks direct access to a motorway or rail line, the town is proximate to the national road network, and closely linked to Navan and Dunshaughlin on the M3 corridor and to the M4 corridor in County Kildare to the south.

The resident population grew by 11% during the years between the 2011 and 2016 censuses.

Position in Settlement Hierarchy

Self-Sustaining growth town

2016 Population


2011 Population


Percentage Change 2011-2016


Housing stock 2016


Number of units completed 2016-2019


Committed units not yet built


Core Strategy Household Allocation 2020-2027

1,333 units
This includes 437 extant units not built at the time of writing

Population Projection 2027


Resident Workers 2016


Total Jobs 2016


Job – Workforce Ratio 2016


Education Facilities         

7 and childcare options

Community Facilities


Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs)

There are two Architectural Conservation Areas in the settlement: Trim Historic Core ACA. This ACA includes the majority of the existing town centre.

Trim Porchfield ACA extends from the east of the town, includes many historic structures and currently serves as public open/recreational space.

Protected Structures


Zone of Archaeological Potential


Natura 2000 Sites

Yes - the River Boyne & River Blackwater SPA and SAC is located within the settlement area.   

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Manage flood risk and development in line with approved policies and objectives as set out in Vol. 1 Chapter 6: Infrastructure. 

Proposals for undeveloped B1 lands must consider the sequential approach and allocate water compatible development within Flood Zones A and some/all of Zone B where possible.  Whilst re-profiling of land within this area may be acceptable, land filling without provision of compensatory storage would not be permissible.

Planning applications within this area and for any redevelopment/extensions/change of use within the town centre lands within Flood Zone A/B must be accompanied by an appropriately detailed FRA.

Water Services Infrastructure/Capacity

Trim is supplied by Trim Water Treatment Plant. This plant also serves Summerhill and Rathmolyon. Spare capacity is limited. There are some network constraints.

Trim Wastewater Treatment Plant – limited capacity available

Modal Share Targets for 2026
Modal Share for Walking 22% (Increasing from 14% in 2016)
Modal Share for Cycling 4% (Increasing from 1% in 2016)
Modal Share for Bus 11% (Unchanged from 11% in 2016)
Reduction Target for Car Use 58% (Reducing from 69% in 2016)

3.0 Vision

For Trim to be an attractive heritage town with a diverse modern economy and a vibrant centre complementing its nationally significant cultural heritage and picturesque setting adjacent to the historically significant Trim Castle and the River Boyne’.

4.0 Opportunities

  • High quality urban centre which enjoys excellent environmental quality and amenities centred around a large public park at the Porchfields.
  • Key location in Ireland’s Ancient East, therefore potential to increase tourist footfall with the provision of improved visitor facilities and experiences. The visitor’s centre proposal for the castle is a key element of this strategy.
  • A Part VIII planning scheme is in place for the alteration and extension of the existing library in Trim to create a multifunctional auditorium facility with the adjoining former St. Patrick’s Chapel to form a studio/exhibition space.
  • Excellent employment base with capacity in existing business parks, thus the potential exists to address high outbound commuter levels from the town and provide for a more sustainable settlement.
  • Creation of a ‘live work’ community on lands at the Navan road which deliver the Navan- Dublin road link, a key piece of infrastructure for the town.

5.0 Land Use Strategy

The land use strategy focuses on a compact, urban development form which respects the heritage qualities and characteristics of Trim. The land use strategy supports the development of the tourism product including the following:

  • Visitors Centre proposal at Market House;
  • Cultural Centre at the library;
  • Blackfriary Community Archaeology project;
  • Púca Festival.

6.0 Settlement and Housing

Trim’s population grew significantly between 2011 and 2016 with over 9,000 residents recorded in 2016. Residential lands to the south and east and consolidation of the employment lands to the north will accommodate moderate growth projections for the town. In addition, the town centre  and edge of centre affords opportunities for higher density urban living with design and layout appropriate to the town’s heritage status.

The household allocation for Trim up to 2027 is 1,333. Extant permissions equate to 437 units and are located across a number of different sites. Residential land located to the southwest of Trim (Master Plan 30 refers) retains its residential land use zoning in order to meet the household allocation. Additional residential lands have been identified to the east of the town centre (Master Plan 29 refers) which is a key mechanism for the delivery of critical infrastructure linking the Navan and Dublin Roads. These lands are also considered to be a suitable location to develop a sustainable  ’ live work’ community centred on a range of uses including enterprise and employment, recreational and residential development. Residential development at this location will address the current deficiency in Executive Style housing in Trim. Development at this location is intended to provide a balance of employment and residential land use zonings within the settlement to optimise the advantage of the strategic location of these lands. Any development on these lands will be subject to the preparation of a Master Plan which will require the written agreement of the Executive of the Planning Authority and the development of employment uses will be required in tandem with residential development.

Limited access to national transport infrastructure including rail and motorway will constrain overall residential growth, promoting consolidation of Trim’s compact, high amenity urban form. The growth of the settlement will be based around principles of compact, sustainable neighbourhoods that include a suitable mix of housing to meet the needs of people of all ages in locations within walking distance of services and facilities.

7.0 Economy and Employment

The Economic Strategy for County Meath 2014-2022 employs a targeted approach towards  economic development in the County. In line with this strategy a more tailored approach to the provision of employment lands in Trim is recommended which will support the town’s role in implementing the Strategy and will facilitate investment choice.

Trim has a significant level of existing enterprise and employment generating uses of varying types (Jobs/Workforce ratio 2016: 0.67). These uses are predominately located in the existing Oaktree Industrial park, Scurloughstown Business Park and at employment zoned lands to the south of the Navan Road. Additional land has been identified to the east of the town centre for the development of both employment and residential in order to develop a sustainable ‘live work’ community and deliver critical infrastructure linking the Navan and Dublin Roads.

8.0 Retail

Trim is listed as a Level 3 Sub County Town in the Retail Hierarchy of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) which incorporates a range of convenience and comparison retail facilities adequate to serve the everyday needs of the catchment population. The emphasis should therefore be on consolidation of the town centre and development of further retail in line with population growth and demand levels from both the town and the surrounding hinterland. Recently constructed convenience floorspace in the town is considered to adequately cater for current demand in Trim and future additional floorspace requirements should therefore be at a lower scale in line with population growth as set out in the Retail Strategy for this Plan.

9.0 Water Services Infrastructure

Water: The Trim Water Treatment Plant treats water abstracted from the Boyne. It also serves Summerhill and Rathmolyon. There is currently spare capacity but this is limited. The Council in conjunction with Irish Water is currently progressing proposals for a Capital upgrade. It is anticipated that this will be realised within the period of this plant. There are also some network constraints.

Wastewater: The Trim Wastewater Treatment Plant currently has spare capacity available but this is limited. Preliminary proposals for a Capital expansion have been prepared and can be progressed when additional capacity is required.

10.0 Flooding

The River Boyne flows through the centre of the town, contributing significantly to the character of the town. Trim’s strategic location on the River Boyne was one of the principal reasons Hugh de Lacy chose Trim as his headquarter in 1172.

The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment prepared for the County identified lands at risk of flooding. A risk based approach to flood management in accordance with the provisions set out in “The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities” (2009) will be implemented in order to prevent or minimise future flood risk1 (Please refer to Chapter 6 Infrastructure).

11.0 Movement

Although it lacks direct access to a motorway or rail line, the town is proximate to national road network, and closely linked to Navan and Dunshaughlin on the M3 corridor and to the M4 corridor in County Kildare to the south. The current Development Plan identifies a number of distributor roads which are in excess of the needs of the town, it is essential that the heritage qualities of the town   are protected in the context of delivery of necessary infrastructure. In this context the Navan rd. - Dublin rd. link road has been given priority.

12.0 Tourism

The Economic Strategy for County Meath has also identified the potential to develop Trim as part of a tourism cluster. Tourism is identified as being of critical importance to the future economic development of Trim and this sector must capitalise on its cultural heritage appeal within the most densely populated region of the country. Other sectors not specifically heritage related such as  water based tourism have significant potential to increase visitor numbers.

The designation and marketing of Trim within the Boyne Valley as part of Ireland’s Ancient East branding is centred on Hugh de Lacy's magnificent Norman Castle which dominates the landscape in Trim and is supported by a high level of hotel accommodation provision, walking routes which pass historic sites; events celebrating Ireland’s medieval heritage and river walks. The promotion of Trim and the wider Boyne Valley as a tourism destination has been successful and same is dependent on maintaining the intrinsic character and heritage of the town.

Key to this is continued investment in a high-quality town centre concentrated around Market Street, Watergate Street, Emmet Street, Castle Street, Finnegan’s Way and High Street with a strong services offer accommodating visitor and leisure demands such as the provision of a visitor centre to serve the castle and the reuse of the town hall on Castle St. The Council supports and encourages  the provision of a range of quality tourist and visitor accommodation at suitable locations. In this regard, the Council recognises that the provision of camping sites (i.e. static and touring caravans, campervan, glamping and tents) are an important element in the accommodation offer and should be encouraged at an appropriate location, please refer to Chapter 4 Economy and Employment Chapter for further details.

The inaugural Púca festival recently celebrated Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween.  The venues in Trim, Athboy and Drogheda will aim to attract international visitors henceforth to Ireland in the months October and November.

13.0 Social Infrastructure

Trim is served by a broad range of community facilities and the natural amenity offered by the River Boyne and Porchfields is of significant benefit to citizens and visitors. Sufficient lands have been identified to accommodate any additional facilities.

The town has significant public open space and amenity provision benefitting from passive  and active open space, including sports grounds associated with different sporting bodies. Visitors attracted by outdoor pursuits are also well catered for in Trim, with a golf course at Knightsbook, Trim Castle River Walk and the historic town trail. 

There are a wide range of schools providing for primary and secondary levels, as well as some  limited further education opportunities. Following consultation with the Department of Education there are no plans to relocate the existing Gaelscoil na Boinne and therefore there is no objective required in this regard.  However, the Department of Education and Skills has identified the need for the provision of additional primary and post primary school accommodation in the town and requested that a site 15 acres in area is reserved for educational purposes. Lands on the R154 Dublin Road zoned for G1 use are considered suitable to meet the future educational need for Trim in this regard.

14.0 Cultural and Natural Heritage

Trim has an attractive town centre with many protected structures and two Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs); The Trim Historic Core ACA and The Porch Field ACA. The Boyne Valley and Ireland’s Ancient East tourism initiatives present a considerable opportunity for the town  to build upon Trim’s historical and natural assets. High quality public realm and access to the grounds  of the Castle and river banks gives the town significant environmental value and amenity.

The protection and preservation of Trim’s rich heritage is an objective of this plan. All development within and adjacent to the development boundary of Trim shall have regard to the unique setting  and archaeological wealth of the town and shall be located and designed accordingly.

15.0 Urban Design and Public Realm

Trim’s historic urban form is one of its greatest assets. The appearance of the town is a matter of pride for its inhabitants. Trim performs consistently well in the National Tidy Towns competition winning a gold medal award in the Entente Florale Competition (2015). Significant investment has been made in recent years by way of improvements in footpaths, signage and street furniture.

16.0 Master Plans

There are two Master Plan areas identified in Trim. The purpose of a Master Plan is to ensure an integrated approach is taken to the phasing, management, and development of lands within the Master Plan Area. A planning application will not be considered in the absence of the Master Plan being agreed in writing with the Executive of the Planning Authority unless it can be demonstrated that the application will not undermine the objectives of the Master Plan being achieved.

Master Plan



Master Plan 30

Master Plan 30 relates to the development of a mixed use residential and community development as part of overall proposals for the former Potterton cattle sales yard to the north of the Summerhill/Longwood road roundabout off the Trim Inner Relief Road.

Awaiting preparation

Master Plan 29

Master Plan 29 relates to a mixture of employment, residential, community and open space lands located to the northeast of the town centre. Enterprise and employment proposals are to be developed in tandem with Executive style housing to facilitate the development of a sustainable ‘live work’ community and deliver a key piece of road infrastructure linking the Navan and Dublin roads.

Awaiting preparation

Master Plan 31 Master Plan 31 relates to the development of C1 Mixed use, A1 Existing Residential, F1 Open Space, H1 High Amenity and B1 Town Centre zoned lands located to the west of the town centre, including the OPW site, the area incorporates both greenfield lands and existing buildings and uses. A sufficient buffer between new development and the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) shall be determined as part of the development management process.  

17.0 Town Development Policies and Objectives

The Policies and Objectives set out below are in addition to those included in the Written Statement in Volume One of the County Development Plan. To avoid repetition Policies and Objectives have only been restated where they have particular relevance to the settlement. These Policies and Objectives should therefore be read in conjunction with the Policies and Objectives  and Development Standards in Volume One of the County Development Plan.


It is the policy of the Council


To continue to support the consolidation of Trim as an attractive heritage town with a diverse modern economy and a vibrant centre complementing its nationally significant cultural heritage and picturesque setting.


It is the objective of the Council


To secure the implementation of the Core Strategy of the County Development Plan, in so far as is practicable, by ensuring the household allocation for Trim as set out in Table 2.12 of the Core Strategy is not exceeded.


(Master Plan 29): To provide for the development of high-end Business and/or Corporate Headquarters primarily FDI, on the southern side of the Navan Road, in Trim. Development should  be on a phased basis. Enterprise and employment proposals shall be developed in tandem with Executive style housing to facilitate the development of a sustainable ‘live work’ community. This Master Plan shall include proposals for the delivery of the RT 1 distributor road and bridge linking the Dublin and Navan roads. The Master Plan shall be agreed in writing with the Executive of the Planning Authority prior to the lodgement of any planning application. 


(Master Plan 30): To provide for the development of a mixed use residential and community development as part of overall proposals for the former Potterton cattle sales yard to the north of the Summerhill/Longwood Road roundabout off the Trim Inner Relief Road. Development shall be on a phased basis within the life of the Trim Development Plan as identified on the land use zoning objectives map. The Master Plan shall be agreed in writing with the Executive of the Planning Authority prior to the lodgement of any planning application.


To facilitate infill and backland development within the town centre in the context    of their contribution towards the enhancement of the existing streetscape, the ACA and the visual amenities of the central part of Trim.


To address the identified need to increase the supply of social housing in Trim, by  seeking the provision of social housing additional to that required by way of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended, subject to funding.


To promote the development of available sites for appropriate employment uses at Scurloughstown Business Park and Oaktree Industrial Park


To support the development of Trim’s tourism product as a key focus for enterprise and employment generation.


To facilitate the improvement of visitor centre facilities in Trim having regard to the provisions of the Boyne Valley Tourism Strategy 2016-2020 or any updates thereof.


To support the reuse of the former Town Hall on Castle Street as a visitor centre for Trim Castle.


To support and encourage the redevelopment of the Trim Library and  St  Patricks former Chapel for the provision of cultural facilities.


To work in partnership with key stakeholders to promote Trim as a centre for cultural heritage education and learning through activities such as community excavation and field/summer schools, for example Blackfriary Archaeology Site.


To support and promote existing festivals and events to increase the cultural, heritage and lifestyle profile of Trim, subject to the satisfactory location, access, parking provision and protection of the surrounding environment.


To prioritise the delivery of the Boyne Greenway and plan for associated amenities and connections to the urban form. The provision of the Boyne Greenway will be subject to the outcome of the Appropriate Assessment process. 


Pending a review of the delivery of the full distributor road network (the commencement of which will begin within one year of the adoption of the Plan) to preserve and (where indicated to construct subject to routing, environmental assessment and appropriate assessment) secure from further development a corridor for the provision of distributor link roads which includes the following routes:

RT 1: Construction of the local distributor road link between the Dublin Road at Effernock and the Navan Road at the Motor Park, including a new bridge over the Boyne River subject to Appropriate Assessment and consultation and requirements of National Parks and Wildlife Services and Inland Fisheries Ireland.

RT 2: A local distributor road link connecting the Athboy Road to the local distributor road west of the Town Centre Expansion area, including a new bridge over the Boyne (long term objective) subject to Appropriate Assessment and consultation and requirements of National Parks and Wildlife Services and Inland Fisheries Ireland.

RT 3: Construction of the local distributor road link west of the C1 mixed use lands connecting to the Kinnegad Road. This link road shall be provided and funded in tandem with the development immediately to the east, or alternatively, where it is demonstrated by developer(s) through appropriate transport assessments / studies that sufficient road access, cycle and pedestrian network infrastructure can be provided to service all lands within the Masterplan area and therefore the proposed link road may not be required. The onus is on developer(s) to demonstrate the above.

RT 4: Construction of the local distributor road link between the Kinnegad Road and the Longwood Road. This shall be provided as part of the Master Plan for these lands.

RT 5: Construction of local distributor road link between the Longwood Road and the Summerhill Road. This shall be provided in tandem with the industrial lands immediately to the north. Development of these road projects will be subject to the outcome of the Appropriate Assessment process. Where adverse effects on European site integrity are identified, alternative routes or designs will be developed to ensure that the project will not adversely affect the integrity of any European Sites, either alone or in-combination with any other plans or projects. If, despite the implementation of mitigation measures, there remains a risk that the proposals will adversely affect the integrity of any European Site(s), the project will not be progressed unless an alternative solution can be implemented which avoids/ reduces the impact to a level that the integrity of the European Site(s) is(are) unaffected.


To carry out public realm improvements throughout the town and along Market Street and at the junction of Watergate Street.


To support the development of a primary and secondary school in Trim in a campus style development on a site 15 acres in area to meet the educational needs of the residents of the town and its catchment.
  • 1 - This objective corresponds with TRAN OBJ 12 in the Trim Development Plan 2014-2020