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.
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