I have no plans to alter the boundaries of the regional authorities in view of the publication of the national spatial strategy, NSS. As part of the overall process of NSS implementation, draft regional planning guidelines have been prepared by all regional authorities, with a view to having such guidelines adopted in all regions following the relevant periods of public consultation. Having regard to the particular circumstances of the greater Dublin area, the Dublin and mid-east regional authorities have jointly reviewed the existing strategic planning guidelines and have prepared draft regional planning guidelines for the greater Dublin area. I have made regulations to provide that regional authorities in making regional planning guidelines shall take account of the NSS. Regional planning guidelines will create a link between national policy as expressed in the NSS and local authority development plans.
Section 27(4) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides that following the making of regional planning guidelines, planning authorities in the region shall review their existing development plans and consider whether any variation of the development plan is necessary to achieve the objectives of the regional planning guidelines.