What is the National Planning Framework?

The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a successor to the National Spatial Strategy 2002. In short, the NPF will be a broad national plan set out by the Government that will establish a long term, 20+ year strategy for spatial development in Ireland. The NPF currently being drawn up, will have a direct influence on strategic planning for the entire country until 2040.

Why is the NPF important?

The NPF will be the central planning policy document for the next 20+ years and will play a critical role in the spatial planning of Ireland. Policies and objectives included in the NPF will essentially shape all future development throughout Ireland.

The NPF should be reflective of Ireland’s diverse and unique places. If done correctly, the NPF should encourage sustainable growth; promote inward investment through the identification of specific opportunities for urban and rural locations, based on the resources and demographics for a given area; create sustainable places for all; protect and improve our environment and ensure a low carbon future. A priority of the NPF should be to strengthen the quality of life for current and future generations in Ireland.

How are An Taisce involved?

An Taisce have been invited to partake in the National Planning Framework Advisory Group, which has been established by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG). The Advisory Group comprises of 35 organisations, including relevant NGOs, professional bodies and technical experts. The purpose of the Advisory Group as set out by the DHPCLG is to ‘harness the potential and capacity of a broad range of sectors, including representatives from business, environmental, social and knowledge-based bodies to guide strategic thinking and decision making in the preparation of the National Planning Framework’.

Each organisation on the Advisory Group has been requested to make a submission (ideally no more than 1,200 words) that sets out, in order of priority, ‘the principal policy areas for the NPF to address, in order to effect change’. An Taisce, as part of the Advisory Group, have raised 12 points to be addressed:

1) Sustainability and quality of life; 2) Community development and integration; 3) A guaranteed balanced regional development; 4) Climate mitigation and adaptation; 5) Local democracy; 6) Priortise development of strategic locations and public transport corridors; 7) New measures to secure affordable housing; 8) Integrate all public investment with NPF objectives and regional and rural development; 9) Integrate NPF with Department of Transport Tourism and Sport “Smarter Travel” 10) Fully integrate NPF with local authority land use and zoning policies; 11) Address rural housing dispersal by strengthening village settlement; and 12) Integrate international biodiversity and other obligations with NPF.

To view the full document which elaborates on the above 12 points, please click on the PDF link below.

How can you get involved?

Public participation plays a critical and influential role in planning. The public will be given the opportunity to have their voices heard on the NPF. It is envisaged that a draft of the NPF will be made available between the middle and end of January 2017. During this public consultation stage, all submissions from the public will be welcomed by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. There will be no fee for submissions made.

Doireann Ni Cheallaigh, Planning Officer

Contact: [email protected]

Download the submission here.