On Tuesday 26th September, the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government, published a draft National Planning Framework (NPF).
This overarching policy document sets out the long-term strategic planning framework for the country’s future growth and prosperity. It will guide national, regional and local planning opportunities throughout the Country together with investment decisions for at least the next two decades. This document is set to replace the ill-fated National Spatial Strategy forever remembered for its failed decentralisation bid. The NPF will be a statutory document and will be implemented through the planning system. Some interesting assumptions are mentioned in the report, housing in particular, where the NPF states ‘there is a projected total requirement to accommodate 550,000 additional households to 2040’. Resource efficiency and transition to a low carbon economy is a key priority for the NPF.
The draft document refers to the development of onshore renewables stating ‘The development of the Wind Energy Guidelines and the Renewable Electricity Plan (both of which are subject to SEA and AA) will also be prioritised to facilitate informed decision making in onshore renewable infrastructure’. Some other objectives of the national planning framework are to enable people to live closer to where they work, regenerate rural Ireland by promoting environmentally sustainable growth patterns and implement a better distribution of regional growth, in terms of jobs and prosperity. Submissions can be made on the draft NPF between Wednesday 27th September and 12 noon on Friday 3rd November.
Full details of the National Planning Framework and the draft document can be viewed on www.npf.ie