Government Opens Public Consultation for National Planning Framework
The Taoiseach and Minister Simon Coveney launched a major national consultation for the preparation of a strategic planning and development framework for Ireland between now and 2040, in Maynooth University on Thirsday. The event was the first of two public consultation exercises and a series of regional and stakeholder events in preparing Ireland 2040 – Our Plan.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “With the return of stability there are a number of projections and challenges that are likely to be realised that we need to start planning for today. This paper is the start of a major consultation process so that we can avoid the planning mistakes of the past. Every community and every region needs to have their say.”
Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney who is leading a high-level cross-Departmental team in developing the Ireland 2040 Plan set out the issues its preparation will address. Coveney listed challenges facing the future of Ireland, including:
- A national population increase of around 1 million people;
- More than one-fifth of Ireland’s total population being over 65;
- More than 500,000 additional people at work;
- 500,000 homes needing locations much closer to services and amenities
- rebuilding community and commercial life in cities and towns and protecting the many qualities of rural communities
Coveney said:”We are now seeking the public’s views on what the issues are and how we can – together – address sprawl and lop-sided development, better utilisation of the potential of both urban and rural areas and avoid congestion and adverse impacts on people’s lives and the environment”
Damien English, Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal highlighted the public’s opportunity in contributing to and shaping the Plan, saying: “Ireland 2040 – Our Plan must be the People’s Plan – formed by the people’s views on the future shape of our country, its urban and rural places both at this initial stage and in the publication of a further draft strategy prior to the Summer, which will be subject to the consideration of the final strategy by the Oireachtas later this year. I anticipate that people will highlight the need to build up and improve existing communities, whether they be rural villages and small towns that have suffered much in recent years or the renewal and enhancement of the inner parts of many of our larger cities and towns, some of which are badly in need of regeneration and re-population which is the part of the Plan I will be focusing on”
Full details are available on www.Ireland2040.ie and the public are invited to contribute initial views by March 16th next. Those views will be used to shape a draft copy of the Plan which is likely to issue for further consultation prior to the Summer. After further incorporation of the public’s views, a final version of the plan is likely to be submitted to Government in the Autumn.