ONE of the country's fastest growing towns officially got bigger yesterday, with its population increasing almost six-fold at the stroke of a pen.
Environment Minister John Gormley has approved the extension of Navan Town Council's boundary, which saw its population increase from 4,400 to 24,000.
Navan has seen a significant increase in its population over recent decades, with most residents now living outside the town boundary.
The application from the town council, which was also supported by Meath County Council, stated that the extension was logical given that the residents of the extended area identified strongly with the town. A boundary alteration will entitle residents to vote in the forthcoming town council elections, which will be held in June 2009.
"I very much welcome the opportunity to support the development of Navan and to extend the franchise for town council elections to so many residents," Mr Gormley said.
According to local sources, the influx of new voters increases the likelihood that Fianna Fail will lose its working majority on the town council.