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.
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