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.
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