Tuesday 20 February 2018

National plan: where planning meets politics

The Government has attempted to steer future economic development by folding details of its 10-year National Development Plan into a 20-year National Planning Framework. The two documents are uncomfortable bedfellows at times, because of disparate Cabinet decisions rooted in political considerations, but the broad approach and capital expenditure commitments represent positive developments. The framework document set out in dispassionate terms what was needed to accommodate a rapidly growing population while, at the same time, moderating the growth of Dublin in favour of regional cities and more balanced development. It generated a fierce reaction from elected representatives in those areas that would not gain immediately. Changes were made. Ministerial demands and plans for rural development were accommodated.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Ten key areas set for development over next 20 years

The Government has launched an ambitious plan which details how more than €116 billion will be spent on infrastructure projects over the next 22 years.

Here are some of the key points of the National Development Plan and National Planning Framework:

§  Athlone and Sligo identified as regional centres where economic development should be focused.
§  Letterkenny, Drogheda, and Dundalk to be prioritised as towns that will benefit from cross-border regional development.
§  Ambitious growth targets of 50% set for the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.
§  Development in Dublin will be focused within and close to the city.
§  500,000 new homes required up to 2040.
§  New technological university for the southeast.
§  Second runway for Dublin Airport at a cost of €320 million.
§  Regional airports such as Knock and Donegal to get increased investment.
§  Metro-link connecting Swords and Sandyford via Dublin Airport to be delivered by 2027 at cost of €3bn.
§  DART to be extended to run to Drogheda and Maynooth.

Read the full article @ www.rte.ie

Ibec welcomes Project Ireland 2040

Ibec statement on Project Ireland 2040

Ibec, the group which represents Irish business, has today welcomed the announcement of Project Ireland 2040, comprising of the National Development Plan and the National Planning Framework.

Ibec CEO, Danny McCoy, said: “The launch of Project Ireland 2040 heralds a new and exciting era for the Irish economy and society. Planning for the future is everyone’s business. We have now clearly moved beyond the economic recovery phase and can look to the next stage of development with real ambition.

“For some time now, Ibec has identified a lack of investment in the economy as a major constraint to progress. The €116bn 10 year investment plan, which will see capital spending exceed 4% of economic output, is visionary and comprehensive. Together with the National Planning Framework it will allow us to plan for a bigger population and for better distribution of economic activity across the regions.

“Our economy relies heavily on the performance of our cities and urban areas. Better functioning, sustainable, and more vibrant towns and cities will drive prosperity right across the country. It is extremely positive to see the clear identification of prioritised urban growth centres across each of the regions.

“Project Ireland 2040 will bring people and places closer together. The investment in major public transport projects, coupled with ambitious new road projects to better connect our regional cities and towns will help address our growing congestion challenges and improve our quality of life.. It is a major commitment to delivering a compact, connected and networked island of Ireland and can help offset some of the challenges of Brexit. It is now essential that all sections of society embrace the opportunity of the plan to ensure that its implementation is as successful as possible.”

Visit Ibec @ http://www.ibec.ie

Construction industry front and centre in National Development Plan

Friday’s announcement of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan is a potential game-changer for the Irish economy and society. The ambition of both documents is to be lauded. Ireland has, for a decade, neglected infrastructure investment and this investment will see us move from the bottom of the table in the EU.
The strategic approach of embedding the public capital programme within a legislatively backed National Planning Framework up to 2040 may insulate investment from the vagaries of Ireland’s political system. The NPF’s ambition coupled with the significant increase in financial commitment in the capital programme can be a powerful springboard for Ireland’s economy.
Tomorrow, when the dust settles, the work begins.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Capital spending: Can national plan build a Dublin fit for 2040?

It was perhaps fitting that the idea of moving Dublin Port was thrust back onto the agenda just days before a massive new government investment and planning framework was launched.  An old debate - in reality settled long ago - the fanciful notion to move the country's biggest port by far, to replace it sometime in the distant future with a shining high rise city quarter, re-emerged even as crucial decisions about the city's actual future were being made and were going largely undebated. The new National Planning Framework to 2040 and the accompanying and interlinked National Development Plan 2018-2027 aims to rebalance growth towards the regions and to break what government officials have described as Dublin's "unplanned gravitational pull". The Government initiative as a whole - billed as Project Ireland 2040 - is based on the premise that the country's population will grow by one million people over the next 22 years. It aims to refocus this growth away from the capital and towards other cities and regions.

Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

Engineers Ireland - “Realisation of Project Ireland 2040 will require consensus and institutional reform”

Statement from Engineers Ireland on the National Planning Framework:

§  €116 billion National Development Plan 2018-2027 provides a 10-year pipeline of projects and should “provide confidence for the engineering sector”
§  Single infrastructure authority should be established to ensure the efficient delivery and implementation of strategic infrastructure
§  20-year planning approach “central to enabling prosperity, wellbeing and long-term growth”
§  Country must plan for the concentration of population and jobs growth in city-regions
§  Now, more than ever, “we need to inspire more young people to study engineering”

Engineers Ireland has welcomed the publication by Government of the National Planning Framework (NPF), calling it “a critically important framework for the sustainable development of our country over the next generation.” The organisation also strongly welcomed the joint publication of the €116 billion 10-year National Development Plan (NDP), saying “the alignment of spatial planning and investment is a vital step towards sustainable growth and effective investment.”

Commenting on the announcements, Caroline Spillane, Director General, Engineers Ireland, said: “Spatial planning and infrastructure delivery are important determinants of how we live, work and grow old. Yet planning in Ireland has frequently been inadequate for the country’s needs and based on a short-term and local view. Engineers Ireland has long advocated for planning that is evidence-based, long-term and divorced from the electoral cycle. We therefore welcome the 20-year approach taken in Project Ireland 2040 which will be central to enabling prosperity, wellbeing and long-term growth.”

In relation to the implementation of the NPF and NDP, Ms Spillane welcomed the attention given to institutional reform. “A new National Regeneration and Development Agency will be the centre of expertise in strategic land development, an Infrastructure Projects Steering Group will develop cross-sectoral dialogue on infrastructure, and the Construction Sector Working Group will ensure dialogue between Government and the construction sector.”

However, she said that the Government must go one step further: “Engineers Ireland believes the Government must establish a single infrastructure authority to oversee the implementation of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan projects across Government departments and State agencies.

“This new authority should bring together the myriad of institutions and policy instruments which are currently involved in infrastructure and the new authority should be placed on a statutory footing. This approach would ensure the integrated and streamlined delivery of priority infrastructure projects. The authority would seek to build cross-party and cross-sectoral consensus, as well as public and media understanding and support.”

President of Engineers Ireland, Dr Kieran Feighan said the organisation strongly supports planning for the concentration of growth in city-regions and other urban areas: “In line with international trends, we must prepare for the majority of population and jobs growth to be focused in urban centres. This will mean putting in place strategic systems of infrastructure to support growth, such as public transport networks, water services and flood defences. The NPF is a critically important framework for the sustainable development of our country over the next generation.”

Dr Kieran Feighan continued: “We must also rebalance national development to ensure more widespread access to the economic recovery and to relieve the mounting pressure on Dublin. We welcome the steps taken towards developing critical mass along the Atlantic Economic Corridor (Waterford, Cork, Limerick/Shannon, Galway, Sligo and Letterkenny/Derry), which can act as a counterbalance to Dublin in terms of attracting population, employment and investment. We are pleased the NDP will channel investment into improving the attractiveness and connectivity of this corridor. At the same time, it is important to recognise the capital city as the national economic driver and it must continue to develop, prosper and compete as an internationally significant city.”

The organisation also welcomed the 10-year pipeline of projects contained in the €116 billion National Development Plan. They said that many of these projects have been identified by expert engineers as vital pieces of infrastructure in Engineers Ireland’s annual State of Ireland reports, including:

§  National Broadband Plan
§  Flood risk management
§  Metro Link, DART expansion and BusConnects
§  M20 Cork to Limerick
§  Airports and ports
§  Renewables and grid interconnection
§  Retrofitting for energy efficiency
§  Water and wastewater treatment and networks
§  The full pipeline of projects, they said, should inspire confidence in the engineering sector in the years ahead.

Dr Kieran Feighan added: “Every objective contained in these plans will require the engineering community to play a significant role. Engineers will be crucial in delivering compact and smart growth, enhanced regional accessibility, high-quality international connectivity, a strong digital economy, transition to a low carbon and resilient society and the sustainable management of water and other resources. Now, more than ever, we need to inspire more young people to study engineering.”

In an effort to demystify the subject of engineering, Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme Call - encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), while promoting engineering as a study and career choice. Engineers Week, Engineers Ireland’s annual festival of engineering, takes place nationwide from 24 February to 2 March 2018.

Read the full article @ www.engineersireland.ie

Monday 19 February 2018

Development of second-tier cities key to sustainable economic growth

For those of you who haven't read it, this research may help to inform your views on the National Planning Framework.

Policies should aim to rebalance growth by encouraging regional development led by a small number of large urban centres outside Dublin, according to new ESRI research.
If the current pattern of growth continues, it will lead to a further gap in prosperity between Dublin and the rest of the country. In Dublin, it will lead to additional housing demand and increased long-distance commuting.
The research provides projections for regions and counties across Ireland up to the year 2040, examining what will happen if current spatial planning patterns continue, and what would happen in a range of alternative scenarios.
These projections set the context for regional and local development policy including the forthcoming National Planning Framework (NPF) and the Regional Spatial and Economic strategies.

Read the full article @ www.esri.ie

Significant growth for small towns and villages envisaged in NDP

Ireland’s new long-term planning blueprint envisages significant growth for Ireland’s smaller town and villages over the next 20 years, allied to a realistic and sustainable approach to once-off homes in the countryside. There are 154 towns with fewer than 10,000 people; 40 of these had a population of more than 5,000, but only 12 had more than 2,500 jobs. Meanwhile, there are just 41 towns with more than 10,000 people. In all, 37 per cent of the country’s population live in towns of less than 1,500 or in the open countryside. The National Planning Framework recommends that the philosophy of “compact growth” should apply to smaller towns and villages as well as larger towns and cities.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Coveney: Cork set to become fastest-growing region in State

Cork is set to become the fastest growing city in Ireland over the next 20 years with the population of the city set to almost treble under a combination of Project Ireland 2040 and the extension of the city boundary, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Coveney told a Cork Chamber breakfast briefing on the future of Cork under Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan that the population of Cork is expected to grow from its current level of about 120,000 people to between 320,000 and 360,000 by 2040.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

The RIAI's Statement on the National Framework Plan

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) welcomes the introduction of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and highlights that an investment in quality architecture and urban design in realising these plans will have a positive impact on the economy as well as the health and wellbeing of Ireland’s citizens. The level of social inclusion and the attractiveness of the country for FDI through the creation of a quality built environment is vital to the success of the NPF.

In planning for the future, we must be both ambitious and realistic to ensure that public projects deliver guaranteed sustainable and long term value.  We need cost effective delivery methods which focus on certainty and quality of outcome.  Ireland cannot afford to take actions that result in any poor quality development decisions.  It is imperative that procurement, planning and regulatory systems are focused on championing quality in the built environment that positions Ireland as a leader in international best practice in sustainable, quality, value driven development.

The RIAI believes that the National Development Regeneration Authority, Regional Authorities and Local Authorities should therefore be resourced and charged with ensuring a controlled and phased flow of investment through the life of the NPF to deliver infrastructure to support thriving towns, cities and villages and vibrant urban living for the expanding population.

Source: www.riai.ie

Frances Ruane: Planning framework must be founded on courage

A few people have asked for a link to this Irish Times article.

The publication of the National Planning Framework is imminent and should be a landmark event for the country. It will be published on Friday alongside the Government’s capital spending plan for the next decade. How this pans out will depend crucially on political will and leadership, and on whether the long consultation process behind the planning framework has generated a wide understanding of how good planning can ensure more regionally balanced growth. It is now 60 years since our population started to grow, following a century of decline. Despite that, we have not succeeded in the intervening period in planning for population growth and sustainable living patterns in our cities, towns and rural areas.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Opposition questions legal basis for National Planning Framework

Sinn Féin is to seek independent legal advice on whether the Government’s National Planning Framework (NPF) needs to be voted on in the Oireachtas. The strategy aims to manage an anticipated population growth of one million people over the next 20 years, and was launched on Friday in Sligo with an accompanying 10-year infrastructural plan. However, Opposition parties have raised questions over the legal basis for the implementation of the framework. Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said the Taoiseach and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy had sought to mislead the Dáil on the matter. He said an independent legal opinion was required and confirmed he would be asking the Oireachtas committee on housing to seek such advice.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Regional balance: Rural allocation done on a 2:1 ratio

The new NDP points out that 37% of the population currently live in rural areas, which might suggest a 3:1 urban/rural spend. Except it doesn’t. Since the national planning framework “adopts a broader definition of ‘rural’ including smaller settlements with a population between 1,500 and 10,000”, it means “a 2:1 ratio is more appropriate in allocating resources between the two funds”. That will provide some succour to rural communities, as might the money allocated to “strengthened rural economies and communities” — a total budget of €8.8bn that includes €4.5m of exchequer funding on regional and local roads, a €1m rural regeneration and development fund, €800m on agriculture and €800m in non-exchequer funding on state-owned enterprises such as Coillte. The national broadband plan is also mentioned — estimated cost “confidential”.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Climate change: €22bn plan prioritises greener homes, transport

Some €22bn worth of investment in technology and other initiatives is aimed at reducing carbon emissions even while population growth increases carbon- producing activities through extra demand on energy, transport, and industrial output. Exchequer spending will run to €7.6bn while private investment is expected to account for €14.2bn. A €500m climate action fund is to be set up to kickstart investment, financed by an existing 2c per litre levy on petrol. Other expenditure will include €4bn in funding to upgrading 40,000 homes per year from 2021 to achieve a minimum B BER. A B rating will also be targeted for all public buildings and a third of commercial premises, and supports are to be put in place to switch 170,000 homes from oil-fired boilers to heat pumps and rooftop solar panels.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Transport infrastructure: More than €10bn to be spent on road network

The Government hopes to spend €5.7bn on national road schemes and €4.5bn on improving regional and local roads in the next decade. The details are contained in the national development plan (NDP), which intends to improve the road linkages between Dublin and most of the other urban areas and regions, particularly in the North-West. The NDP claims “substantial progress” has been made, since 2000, in improving road linkages, but it is hoped that “every region, and all the major urban areas, particularly those in the North-West, which have been comparatively neglected until recently, are linked to Dublin by a high-quality road network”. Another key priority is the Atlantic Corridor and a high-quality road network linking Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Sligo.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Housing: New agency could claim land through CPOs

Project Ireland 2040 proposes the establishment of an urban regeneration agency that will have the power to claim land through compulsory purchase orders if it feels the sites in question “are not being utilised to their full potential”. The establishment of the body - called the National Regeneration and Development Agency forms part of the Government’s €2bn urban regeneration fund. A €1bn fund for rural development also forms part of the plan. More than 500,000 new homes are needed to meet the expected population growth between now and 2040, according to the plan, and it indicates the Government’s intention to focus housing development in concentrated areas, “at locations that can support sustainable development”.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Ireland 2040: Promise to restart projects stalled in downturn

Under Project Ireland 2040, the Taoiseach is promising to restart projects that were stalled during the recession.
Amid much fanfare, the Government launched the €116bn plan to “re-imagine Ireland” and prepare for the future following a special Cabinet meeting at the Institute of Technology in Sligo.
Project Ireland 2040 will invest in infrastructure, housing, health and the environment over the next two decades. It includes a €2bn urban regeneration and development fund, €1bn rural development fund, and €500m climate action fund. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described the framework as a “significant milestone in our country’s development” adding that it marks “the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion”.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Cautious welcome from the INMO for Project Ireland 2040

Nurses have given a cautious welcome to commitments made about health in the National Planning Framework, which was announced by the Government last Friday. Project Ireland 2040 is a €116 billion development plan for the country, which includes commitments to build more homes, schools and hospitals over the next two decades. During this time, the population of the country is expected to grow by one million. The plan provides for a €10.9 billion capital investment in health services. The Government has committed to providing three new elective-only hospital facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway, an additional 2,600 acute hospital beds and 4,500 new community/step-down beds. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) welcomed the plan, but insisted that ‘none of this can be realised without significant measures to recruit and retain nurses and midwives'.

Read the full article @ www.irishhealth.com

Project Ireland 2040: ‘The northwest is used to being forgotten’

The political cavalcade has pulled out and the clouds remain bundled up over Knocknarea. The hype surrounding the announcement of the Government’s National Planning Framework in Sligo last Friday has passed, and opinion is divided locally as to whether Project Ireland 2040 will change anything. Gerry Nicholson, who owns Sligo’s oldest pub, Thomas Connolly, is worried about the plan’s 22-year timescale: “It’s a long time until 2040. Things can change. Are we looking into a long tunnel, and where will it end?” In 1891, his great grand uncle Thomas Connolly convinced Charles Stewart Parnell to visit the town and drop into the family pub. Hence he is, in principle, supportive of political visits.

Read the full article @ The Irish Times
The political cavalcade has pulled out and the clouds remain bundled up over Knocknarea. The hype surrounding the announcement of the Government’s National Planning Framework in Sligo last Friday has passed, and opinion is divided locally as to whether Project Ireland 2040 will change anything.
Gerry Nicholson, who owns Sligo’s oldest pub, Thomas Connolly, is worried about the plan’s 22-year timescale: “It’s a long time until 2040. Things can change. Are we looking into a long tunnel, and where will it end?”
In 1891, his great grand uncle Thomas Connolly convinced Charles Stewart Parnell to visit the town and drop into the family pub. Hence he is, in principle, supportive of political visits.
The political cavalcade has pulled out and the clouds remain bundled up over Knocknarea. The hype surrounding the announcement of the Government’s National Planning Framework in Sligo last Friday has passed, and opinion is divided locally as to whether Project Ireland 2040 will change anything.
Gerry Nicholson, who owns Sligo’s oldest pub, Thomas Connolly, is worried about the plan’s 22-year timescale: “It’s a long time until 2040. Things can change. Are we looking into a long tunnel, and where will it end?”
In 1891, his great grand uncle Thomas Connolly convinced Charles Stewart Parnell to visit the town and drop into the family pub. Hence he is, in principle, supportive of political visits.
The political cavalcade has pulled out and the clouds remain bundled up over Knocknarea. The hype surrounding the announcement of the Government’s National Planning Framework in Sligo last Friday has passed, and opinion is divided locally as to whether Project Ireland 2040 will change anything.
Gerry Nicholson, who owns Sligo’s oldest pub, Thomas Connolly, is worried about the plan’s 22-year timescale: “It’s a long time until 2040. Things can change. Are we looking into a long tunnel, and where will it end?”
In 1891, his great grand uncle Thomas Connolly convinced Charles Stewart Parnell to visit the town and drop into the family pub. Hence he is, in principle, supportive of political visits.

Where will all the construction workers come from to build the Ireland 2040 plan?

ON FRIDAY, THE Project 2040 plan made €116 billion worth of pledges and industry groups are warning that it must be matched with adequate training if the promises are to be kept. The plan makes a commitment to providing “capital supports” for new apprenticeship courses but the scale of the work that needs to be implemented is huge. The Construction Industry Federation estimates that apprenticeships have fallen from a peak of about 27,000 during the previous decade’s housing boom to a current level of 3,000.

Read the full article @ thejournal.ie

Sunday 18 February 2018

2040 vision What is Project Ireland 2040, how much is being spent and what are the five key areas targeted?

THE Government’s big plan for spending on homes, services and transport was unveiled yesterday — and reaction to it is mixed. The €116billion Project Ireland 2040 plan hopes to see the construction of 500,000 new homes over the next two decades and €2billion for the regeneration of the country’s five main cities. It divides the country into three regions and states 75 per cent of population growth over the next two decades should take place outside Dublin. Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are designated as the urban centres for expansion, meaning they get extra attention when it comes to infrastructure investment. Announcing the plan at IT Sligo yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “This is a plan for all our citizens — the old, the young and the yet-to-be-born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside”.

Read the full article @ The Sun

EXPLAINER: Everything you didn't already know about Project Ireland 2040

We don't want to say Project Ireland 2040 covers "life, the universe and everything", but it definitely comes close.

If you have been left scratching your head as to why Leo Varadkar's cabinet has gone west to Sligo under the banner of Project Ireland 2040, you're not alone. Since the talks will be affecting how we all live and work in twenty years time, however, it's best we break it down so the future isn't as shocking as it already is.

Project Ireland 2040 comprises of a 10 year €116 billion capital investment plan and a new National Planning Framework, which is a future strategy document that will break down how the government intends to tackle the growth of Ireland's population.

This is necessary since Ireland's population will grow by a further estimated million over the course of the next two decades. In turn, this means approximately 550,000 new houses are going to be required on top of a further 660,000 jobs.

It is a shocking likelihood, which is going to necessitate a solid long-term capital spending plan that reaches into all wakes of life, from school and housing to transport, infrastructure and healthcare.

And sure, nobody likes to think about the future too much, especially when told that you have to do it all on a single day, but since the International Monetary Fund have been advising we finally get it done in their 2017 report, it looks as if today is the big day.

Read the full article @ www.joe.ie

Government Press Release - Reimagining our Country: Government launches €116bn Project Ireland 2040

§  First time in Irish history that Planning & Investment have been linked

§  Four new funds totalling €4bn for rural & urban growth, climate action & innovation

§  Major transport focus linking all parts of Ireland & filling gaps in North West

§  €22bn climate change programme as well as major public transport investment

§  Preparing Ireland for Brexit by investing in the future & targeting at risk sectors

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Government today launched a €116 billion plan to re-imagine Ireland and prepare for the future following a special Cabinet meeting at the Institute of Technology in Sligo. 

In front of an audience of college students, the Cabinet unveiled Project Ireland 2040 which aims to build the Ireland of tomorrow, and prepare for a future society which will have an extra one million people and 660,000 more people at work. 

Project Ireland 2040 takes a radically different approach to future planning by focusing not just on bricks and mortar, but on social, economic and cultural development. It links planning and investment for the first time in Irish history, balances rural and urban investment, and will avoid the mistakes of the past. 

Three quarters of new growth will be outside Dublin, with 50% of the projected population growth planned for our towns, villages and rural areas and 50% for our cities. Dublin, our capital city, must grow up and not out. And it’s underpinned by a 10 year €116 billion National Development Plan. This is a dramatic increase in public investment for Ireland, and makes Ireland a European leader for investment, leaving behind the lost decade since 2008. 

Above all, Project Ireland 2040 aims to Brexit-proof Ireland by investing in the future with a particular focus on the Border Regions. 

It includes four new funds designed to stimulate renewal and investment in rural and urban areas, the environment and innovation:

§  €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund;

§  €1 billion Rural Development Fund;

§  €500 million Climate Action Fund;

§  €500 Disruptive Technologies Fund.

There is also a significant focus on the environment with €22 billion allocated to tackling and dealing with climate change across transport, energy and commercial State agencies.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said:

This National Development Plan will change how we invest in public infrastructure in Ireland. It moves beyond the approach of the past, which saw public investment spread too thinly and investment decisions which didn’t align with a spatial strategy. These practices contributed to some of the major issues that we, as a country, face today, particularly the predominance of Dublin in terms of economic growth, alongside the challenges facing rural communities. In order to meet the needs our citizens, a number of major innovations are being introduced. Among them are a longer-term (10 year) strategic approach to public capital investment; a sustained increase in that investment to meet the infrastructural needs of all communities; four new Funds to target urban and rural renewal, climate action and ‘disruptive technologies’; and the establishment of a new National Regeneration and Development Agency to help to drive growth and renewal in towns and cities across the country - all of which will enable us to work towards making a more equal and a fairer Ireland a reality.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said:

Ireland stands on the cusp of great change. In the next 20 years we will grow by an extra one million people.  This raises a series of important questions for our consideration, the most basic being where will all these people live and work, what kind of quality of life will we each enjoy, and how will a country of almost six million people impact on our communities and on our built and natural environment.

We have a responsibility to answer these questions; we have a responsibility to plan for the changes that we face – to manage our future growth in a productive and sustainable way. This is a challenge certainly, but it is also a great opportunity for a new generation to imagine, and implement, a shared vision for each community on this island.

Project Ireland 2040 represents an important shift from previous approaches to long-term planning and investment by Government. It is an approach that joins up ambition for improvement across the different areas of our lives, bringing the various government departments, agencies, State owned enterprises and local authorities behind a shared set of strategic objectives for rural, regional and urban development.

Find out what #projectIreland means for you at gov.ie/2040

Project Ireland 2040 is' a game changer for Mayo and rural Ireland' - Minister Ring

THE Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has described Project Ireland 2040 as' a game changer for Mayo and rural Ireland.'
Speaking this afternoon at the launch  in Sligo IT,  the Westport-based representative stated: “Project Ireland 2040 is very good news for Mayo and rural Ireland. Put simply, it will help improve people’s quality of life in in towns, villages and townlands in Mayo and throughout rural Ireland.
“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I have worked closely with Ministers Donohoe and Murphy to ensure that this document delivers for rural Ireland.
"This has involved ensuring investments such as the €1 billion rural regeneration fund and a €4.5 billion spending package for regional and local roads.
"I am proud to stand over this plan because I know it will deliver for every part of Ireland. People should have a decent quality of life no matter where they choose to live.

Read the full article @ Connaught Telegraph

Project Ireland 2040: What is in the plan for Limerick?

FUNDING for a new €210m Maternity Hospital, a new 96-bed unit at University Hospital Limerick, a new ambulance base for Limerick and the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway have all been included in the goverment's Project Ireland 2040, it has been announced.
The government has this Friday morning launched the plan - encompassing the National Development Plan (NDP) the National Planning Framework (NPF) - at Sligo IT.
According to the NDP, launched at 2pm this Friday, the M20, linking Cork and Limerick, will cost an estimated €850m to €900m. This is one of the key objectives within its 10-year plan for regional connectivity.
Limerick will also benefit from a massive €2bn urban regeneration and development fund, which will enhance the country's five main "growth enablers". This includes the Limerick 2030 initiative and the Limerick Regeneration Implementation Framework Plan, also known as regeneration.
There will also be a €1bn rural development fund. And according to the NPF, also launched this Friday, this means that "places like Newcastle West will not be competing for funding with Limerick City".

Read the full article @ Limerick Leader

Ireland 2040: Significant developments on the cards for Co Cork

The gulf in planned development between Cork and Kerry is highlighted by the number of mentions each county gets in both the national development plan (NDP) and the longer term Project Ireland 2040.

Cork gets 73 mentions in the NDP and 84 in the 2040 plan, while Kerry received 13 and nine respectively.
A planned €200m is to be set aside by the Government to provide new bus corridors, more efficient and reliable bus services and a network of park-and-ride sites in Cork City and its suburbs.
The NDP also mentions a new hospital and ambulances bases for Cork but does not provide further specific details.
The €900m Cork to Limerick motorway (M20) which was first mooted in 2005, is included in the plan, along with a planned but vital €100m upgrade of the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle interchange and the building of the Macroom bypass.

Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

Why Project Ireland 2040 is doomed to fail

Opinion: the Project Ireland 2040 plan seeks balanced development throughout the country, but that's something which has historically proved elusive and stymies long term national growth

For most of humanity, humans have predominantly worked the land and lived a rural lifestyle. Two centuries ago, only three per cent of the world population lived in urban areas. The past 65 years has brought unprecedented urban growth. The urban population was 746 million in 1950 and it is now 3.9 billion. We are in the age of mega cities and Tokyo is the world’s largest with a population of 38 million in an area of just 14000km2.

In comparison, the greater Dublin area has a population of nearly 2 million in a space of about 10,130 km2. In Ireland, 60 percent of the population live in urban areas and this is expected to reach 75 percent by 2050. The Irish population is also expected to grow by more than one million between now and 2050. That is a lot of population displacement.

Read the full article @ www.rte.ie

The Big Reveal: Five things you need to know about Project Ireland 2040 plan

€1bn for regeneration of villages with population of less than 10,000 people

  • Roads budget of €4.5bn has been allocated for regional and local roads
  • Government plans to invest billions in a Metro in Dublin
  • Cork is set for a light rail system and a major redevelopment of the docklands
  • Limerick will finally be connected to Cork by the M20 motorway
  • Three new centres for elective surgeries to be built in Dublin, Cork and Galway
  • Ninety State nursing homes are to receive money for refurbishments
  • No NCTs will be issued for non-zero emission cars post 2045
  • New body to be tasked with driving development on State-owned lands

  • Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

    Ireland 2040: a new beginning

    Ireland will be a different place in 2040 than it is today, just as it was very different 20 years ago. The National Planning Framework and Ten-Year Capital Plan, announced to such fanfare last week, is a reasonable attempt by the Government to anticipate what that Ireland will be like and to prepare for it accordingly.

    While the plan is of necessity evidence-based, it is set against events as yet unknown, and inevitably, also rooted in certain assumptions and predictions which may not turn out to be entirely accurate. When we look back to 1998, who could have predicted a boom of the nature of the Celtic Tiger and a bust as ruinous as the subsequent lost decade?

    One outcome seems likely by 2040, however: the history of economic cycles dictate that there will be another downturn, indeed a recession within that period, perhaps sooner rather than later if the worst outcomes of Brexit are realised. 

    Read the full article @ The Irish Independent

    Project Ireland 2040: the infrastructure plan’s main points

    Two plans to set out infrastructure priorities and plan regional development. Project Ireland 2040 aims to provide balanced regional development, in order to reduce Dublin’s growing economic domination, and to improve the State’s infrastructure. It seeks to plan for where the anticipated one million extra people who will be living in the State 25 years from now will be housed, work and go to school.

    Read the full article @ The Irish Times

    Project Ireland 2040: The key points you need to know

    THE CABINET HAS today signed off on Project Ireland 2040, the new national planning and capital expenditure plans. The €116 billion plan sets out a 23-year vision for the country and which projects will be prioritised in capital spending plans. According to the plan, it is designed to “enhance the wellbeing and quality of life” of Irish people by providing a framework for the kind of Ireland that will be built in the next 22 years. This includes “preventing uncontrolled gravitation” of advantages towards Dublin. It includes four new funds designed to “stimulate renewal and investment in rural and urban areas, the environment and innovation”.

    Read the full article @ www.thejournal.ie

    The €116 billion Project Ireland 2040: Where is the money coming from?

    THE GOVERNMENT TODAY announced plans to spend €116 billion on a host of items from roads to schools to hospitals. While the spending is huge, many are questioning just where the money will come from and whether the funding is ringfenced. The plan commits €115.9 billion in total of capital spending between 2018 and 2027 and the plan says it will mostly come from Exchequer funding – that is money raised through general taxation. €91 billion will come directly from the Exchequer, while €24.9 billion will come from the dividends of state-owned commercial companies.

    Read the full article @ www.thejournal.ie

    Ireland 2040: Grand designs but which of these projects can we expect to see first?

    THE DEVIL IS in the detail – and there is much detail yet to be revealed in Project Ireland 2040.
    A sweeping overview of the strategic planning that might get us to an Ireland in which would want to live in by 2040 was launched yesterday by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his Cabinet in Sligo. The ministerial cavalcade no doubt had a pleasant drive on the M4/N4 to Sligo IT but, to paraphrase previous incumbents of the seat of power, there might be much done, but a lot more to do. The ‘more’ was contained in the document released at 2pm yesterday, outlining where €116 billion should be invested over the next 10 years in order to futureproof Ireland against a host of factors, including the impact of Brexit and a population growth of 1 million people.

    Read the full article @ www.thejournal.ie

    Irish Planning Institute's Press Release on the National Framework Plan

    Project 2040 choices send mixed messages about evidence-based planning

    -        Effective evidence-based planning only possible if supported by legislation and regulation

    -        Commitment to brownfield development welcome but resource plan is misaligned

    “While Government’s decision to put a National Planning Framework (NPF) in place side by side with investment in key infrastructure is a positive and mature step for our nation as it enters its second century of independence, today’s announcement raises more questions than gives answers about our ability to learn from our past”

    Mr. Joe Corr, President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), the professional body representing planners in Ireland, was speaking as the IPI responded to publication today (Friday, 16 February, 2018) of ‘Ireland 2040’.  “Good planning is evidence based” he said. “The framework proposed today sets out four cities and five towns outside Dublin as growth centres. That is one more than the eight gateway cities in the Spatial Strategy of 2002. The evidence of the past 15 years is that this didn’t work.”

    “We recognise fully the imperative, and indeed responsibility, of public representatives to address citizens’ concerns. From a professional planning perspective however, ‘Ireland 2040’  is not following the evidence as we hoped it would in order to become a robust enabling tool to shape and enable future investment in the growth of our society and its economy by both public and private sectors. It presents as a framework for politics following politics rather development following planning.”


    Mr Corr called for a priority in the commitment to an independent Office for Planning Regulation with legislative backing. “A national framework is only one part of a series of connected measures to guide planning with Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs) and local area development plans to follow.  The biggest danger here is that the grip on evidence as a basis for planning loosens even further as those further measures are rolled out.  Legislation to control delivery is essential and requires the political and related stakeholder support to develop and implement sustainable solutions”

    Developing on brown rather than green fields

    Looking at the detail of the Framework, Mr Corr said that the IPI welcomes the NPF emphasis on reusing previously developed ‘brownfield’ land in both an urban and a rural context “Establishing some priority for brownfield over greenfield use is a positive way to addresses challenges to both economic and environmental sustainability. It serves to reduce sprawl, to increase the efficiency of land use and enables a more focused and efficient investment in infrastructure”

    However, he said, the IPI questioned the balance in the proposed funding support given the requirement to five metropolitan plans where land values are significantly greater than in rural areas. “Where is the evidence to back up these figures?  We would also like to see assurances that funds for rural area development go to regeneration of essential physical and social infrastructure in villages and small towns and not on rural roads which encourages further one-off housing, for example”.

    Climate change

    The specific direction of the NPF is of course also critical as a means of enabling Ireland respond effectively to the challenges of climate change.  It provides a frame for guiding balanced growth and for informed and cohesive decision making in the future.

    Mr Corr said that the IPI and its members look forward now to having an active role at regional and local level in bring the NPF to life. “We welcome and endorse the leadership which the NPF provides. As a framework it leaves ample scope for addressing local needs in an active and informed way.  We believe as a community, in both the private and the public sectors that we have a lot of insight available to support implementation and will be advocating strongly for a continued commitment to this thinking from all stakeholders towards 2040”

    Read more from the Irish Planning Institute @ www.ipi.ie

    National Framework Plan - Peter McVerry Trust welcomes 'big and ambitious capital plan'

    The Peter McVerry Trust has welcomed the "big and ambitious capital plan" announced by the Government today, in particular its goal of 550,000 new homes by 2040.

    CEO of the Trust Pat Doyle said: "People will know that the single biggest legacy of the crash was the lack of funds available to invest in social housing and other important areas. This plan provides a long term vision to invest in housing and other critical areas such as education which ultimately will have a positive impact on efforts to tackle homelessness.

    "We strongly welcome the commitment to deliver future housing supply based on housing need, through the creation of a new Housing Need and Demand survey. This survey will hopefully ensure that there is more 1 and 2 bedroom units built in urban areas to reflect the need for these types of units, particularly amongst those in homeless services and those in the rental system.”

    “We believe the broad priorities and principles on which the Government commits to future housing policy are a progressive move. Things like committing to ensuring better re-use empty buildings and put to use smaller derelict sites in urban areas."
    Mr Doyle added that one of the most important measures in the plan was the creation of a National Development and Regeneration Agency, which he said had the potential "to be a game changer in land use in Ireland".

    Read about the Peter McVerry Trust @ www.pmvtrust.ie

    Public warned not to ignore National Planning Framework due to consequences for Donegal

    The importance of the National Planning Framework has been outlined by a Donegal senator who is warning that the county cannot be "left out in the cold again". The National Planning Framework (NPF) will frame how the Government sets out to develop and build Ireland for the future.
    Opposition politicians have been highly critical, claiming rural Ireland and towns outside of the main cities will be left behind.  Sinn Fein senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn today said: "The days of the 'forgotten county' must end."

    Read the full article @ www.donegalnow.com

    What is the National Planning Framework 2040? It's a pretty big deal for the country

    It's a lot of info all at once. So, if you have absolutely no idea what the National Planning Framework 2040 is all about, then we're here to help you. There's no point beating around the bush, so we're going to get right down to it. Basically, it's a plan made by the government that sets out goals for the upcoming 20 years. That includes the future for transport, jobs, schools, infrastructure and much more. The government need to have national and regional strategies in place for the next 20 years as Ireland’s population grows.

    Read the full article @ www.her.ie/

    Project Ireland 2040: National Development Plan explained as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launches €116 billion spending splurge on infrastructure

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has launched a capital spending slurge for the next decade that will cost the taxpayer €116billion, at a glitzy PR launch. The list of infrastructure goodies unveiled include billion euro projects across the sectors, such as health, transport and education, while the largesse is spread across the country, from Dublin to Cork, Galway, Sligo, Donegal and almost everywhere in between. However, there was still some criticism that rural Ireland was not getting a fair crack of the whip compared to the greater Dublin area, but Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring, defended the Government, saying that “rural Ireland will thrive” under the new plan. The plan, part of Project Ireland 2040, predicts that there will be one million more people living in Ireland in 20 years time and that development and upgrade of infrastructure is necessary to make Ireland still a great place to live.

    Read the full article @ www.irishmirror.ie

    Athlone has been designated as the 'capital' of the Midlands under the National Planning Framework

    A press release stated: "The Plan aims to balance development across the country with Athlone to receive the designation as the growth centre for the midlands in the new Government plan for the next 20 years, Ireland 2040". David Gleeson, Managing Partner at RBK Chartered Accountants welcomed the news, saying: “We will really have to ask ourselves what type of country we want to live in. "Is it a country with all the population virtually on the Eastern coast or a more balanced distribution of the population which will have work/life balances benefits and lower costs?” "At present people are travelling for up to three to four hours per day in their cars to their work place in Dublin leaving their homes at 5am in the morning and not returning 7pm or 8pm in the evening. "This is simply not good for the quality of theirs and their families’ lives.” The plan aims to cater for a growing population, with our population set to increase by one million in 20 years' time. 

    Read the full article @ www.irishmirror.ie

    Disappointment at N24 exclusion in National Planning Framework

    There is disappointment at the exclusion of the N24 from the National Planning framework. The 115 billion euro investment plan is due to be unveiled by the government tomorrow. Officials in Tipperary County Council called for an upgrade of the N24 as part of their own vision document and had met with the Transport Minister Shane Ross to discuss the issue. This also follows criticism from a researcher involved in the framework document who said that a Cork Limerick motorway was not needed.

    Read the full article @ tippfm.com/

    National Development Plan to receive €115bn investment

    It is understood the National Development Plan will see an investment of €115 billion in the country's infrastructure over the next ten years. The plan was discussed in detail at the Cabinet meeting this evening. It will be backed by Exchequer funding to the tune of €90bn and a further €25bn will come from commercial State-owned enterprises. The projects set to benefit include a second runway at Dublin Airport, the building of the M20 motorway to connect Cork and Limerick and the expansion of the DART. There will also be investment in regional airports and school buildings across the country. Priorities in health include the building of a new National Children's Hospital and a National Maternity Hospital.

    Read the full article @ www.rte.ie/

    Watch as Taoiseach accused of 'stroke politics' over National Framework Plan

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been accused of taking part in "stroke politics" and of "undermining" the Oireachtas amid claims he has rushed through the publication of the national framework plan to avoid a vote on its multi-billion euro details. Opposition parties made the allegation after it emerged the plan will be automatically placed on a statutory footing just days before a bill passes through the Seanad which would have forced the Government to allow the Dáil and Seanad to vote on whether to support the findings.

    Read the full article @ breakingnews.ie

    Changes to National Planning Framework 'incredibly worrying' says former Department of Finance chief

    The former Department of Finance secretary general says he has major concerns ahead of the National Planning Framework. On Friday, the Government will launch the NPF, committing €115bn to the 10-year investment strategy. There are already concerns that the Cork-Limerick motorway will undermine the plan's objective of creating strong regional cities. John Moran, Director of the European Investment Bank, said that he is very worried about how the plan is developing.

    Read the full article @ The Irish Examiner

    Cork businesses hoping region gets its due in planning framework

    Business leaders in Cork are confident that a number of major infrastructure projects for the region will get the green light when the Government’s National Planning Framework is announced tomorrow. Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said the organisation’s focus would not just be on infrastructure projects for Leeside but also on how the plan envisages Cork developing economically over the next two decades. “The Ireland 2040 plan is a hugely important opportunity to restore balance to growth across Ireland to ensure a better, more sustainable society and economy for the future of our country. In Cork, Ireland has a thriving second city and its status needs to be clearly stated in the 2040 plan,” he said.

    Read the full article @ The Irish Times

    Q&A: Why should I care about the National Planning Framework?

    So what is the National Planning Framework? It’s an overarching blueprint, intended to give a clear strategy for where and how the country is to be developed, built and connected over the next decade. One of the country’s problems is the dominance of Dublin – it sucks in too much investment, too many jobs, too many people. One of the goals of the NPF will be to constrain development in Dublin and promote it elsewhere. A new planning regulator will oversee the plan, allowing denser development in Dublin – to prevent uncontrolled sprawl – while promoting alternative cities for growth, including Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway.

    Read the rest of the article @ The Irish Times

    Explainer: What is the National Planning Framework 2040?

    MINISTERS DON’T USUALLY meet on a Monday, but they’re in Leinster House today for a special Cabinet meeting on the National Planning Framework. What’s it all about? Well, let’s take a look. What is the National Planning Framework? What will Ireland look like in 2040? That is essentially what the National Planning Framework (due to be published in the coming weeks) plans to set out. Basically, it is the government’s long-term plan for what Ireland should be like in about twenty years time.

    Read the rest of the article @ thejournal.ie

    Ireland 2040: Everything we know so far about the National Planning Framework

    The Government is set to unveil a €115bn National Planning Framework outlining their vision for developing the country up to 2040.  A multi-billion euro package aimed at improving the health service will see three new hospitals as well as 2,600 extra hospital beds by 2027 and hundreds of community nursing home beds. It has been revealed that the Department of Health will get a substantial share of the €115bn give-away. Sources say the plan will also place a massive emphasis on investment in IT, with the HSE and An Garda Síochána to be given modernised computer systems. At least 23 counties are in line for new schools, although many were announced by the Department of Education as far back as 2014.

    Read the rest of the article @ The Irish Independent

    Ireland 2040: €5bn Dublin rail plan to see metro built and Dart line extended

    A new extended Metro and significant Dart extension costing a total of €5 billion and to be completed within in a decade, form the key part of the Government’s new €116 billion capital development plan. Some €3 billion will be spent on a revamped and extended version of the previous Metro North project will be developed in tandem with a €2 billion upgrade to the existing Dart system in a major upgrade of Dublin’s rail network. Both projects, announced on Friday as part of the Government’s capital development plan for the next ten years, will be completed by 2027.

    Read the rest of the article @ The Irish Times

    National Planning Framework

    I've had a few people contact me about the National Planning Framework. You can find all of the available details at the official website: http://npf.ie/

    Read it before you make up your mind!