I propose to take Questions Nos. 72 and 716 together.
The National Planning Framework (NPF) as published by Government is underpinned and was informed by a comprehensive analytical, public participation and environmental assessment-based approach.
The evidence base underpinning the NPF and its finalisation after the publication of the consultation draft includes the ESRI Research study, titled ‘Prospects for Irish Regions and Counties: Scenarios and Implications', which is available on the ESRI's website at the following link: http://www.esri.ie/publications/prospects-for-irish-regions-and-counties-scenarios-and-implications/.
Finalisation of the NPF was also necessarily informed by the extensive public consultation process conducted at draft stage, which included over 1,000 submissions, formal engagements with the Oireachtas and interaction with key stakeholders. Crucially, the NPF was also informed by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), with the SEA statement including a screening of changes made between the publication of the public consultation draft and the final Framework as published by the Government. These changes reflected the Government's concern that the final version of the document should address key points that had been raised through the very valuable public consultation process that had taken place.
The SEA statement and other supporting documents will be published as soon as practicable, following the completion of presentational and document design work. Copies of relevant documents will be made available on the Project Ireland 2040 website, at www.gov.ie/en/project-ireland-2040, and also on the NPF website, www.npf.ie.