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RTPI Ireland: planners can help realise government’s vision for Ireland

16 February 2018

 Project Ireland 2040The Irish Government has today unveiled its vision for the country “Project Ireland 2040” and, alongside it, the new National Planning Framework – the route map to deliver it.

New hospitals, schools, roads, and police stations are among the €115 billion worth of projects in the ten year capital investment plan published alongside Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework (NPF). The NPF sets out a high-level  planning and development framework to deliver the government’s vision to  ensure that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential with wellbeing, equality and opportunity at its core.

Signficant day for planning: government must use planners to deliver vision

The RTPI Ireland has welcomed the publication of the National Planning Framework and hailed it a ‘significant day for planning in Ireland’.

On the release of the plan, Marion Chalmers MRTPI, Chair of RTPI Ireland said:

“For the first time, the National Planning Framework will set out how the government will deliver its vision for Ireland over the next twenty years with a direct link between the plan and capital investment. This will provide welcome certainty in uncertain times – given Brexit, a housing crisis, climate change, uneven economic growth - for communities, developers, investors and planners.

The NPF will help Ireland play to planners’ strengths – long term, strategic planning and place making is what we do best. This long term, strategic approach will help ensure the government maximises the capacity of the planning system to deliver its ambitious agenda.

We call on the government to make best use  of this nation’s planners to ensure a joined up approach to delivering these new projects, which takes into account housing plans and other government plans and strategies. We must plan housing needs alongside infrastructure to successfully create vibrant, prosperous communities.”

Regional stategies and development plans required to support NPF

RTPI Ireland said it is still looking at the detail of the plan but is pleased the government have set out where priorities for growth will be and how this growth will be supported through investment and infrastructure, something the Institute called for during the NPF consultation.

The Institute says the NPF and capital investment plan must be complemented by regional economic and spatial strategies as well as county and city development plans so as to ensure joined up approach to delivering what is needed at a local level.

It cautions that politicians and officials will be faced with difficult decisions on where to prioritise investment and development but says they must be ‘bold and visionary’ if the plan is to succeed.

RTPI Ireland contributed to the development of the NPF through its 10 principles for the plan and former Chair John Downey MRTPI who sat on the government’s advisory group.

Project Ireland 2040 and the National Planning Framework are available online.

Image: Leo Varadkar/Twitter