I propose to take Questions Nos. 352 and 353 together.
The National Planning Framework (NPF), titled Ireland 2040 - Our Plan, will set a new long-term strategic planning and investment context for Ireland over the next 20 years. It will outline a high-level, national vision for Ireland for 2040 and will provide the framework and principles to manage future population and economic growth over the next 20 years (catering for 1 million extra people, 600,000 extra jobs and over 500,000 extra homes).
The forthcoming NPF will empower all areas to play their distinct roles in securing overall optimal national and regional development, and sets out a growth strategy to help achieve this. In doing so, the NPF presents a long-term framework that sets out how Ireland can move away from the ‘business as usual’ pattern of development.
In setting out a context for targeting future growth, the Framework seeks to enable a co-ordinated and plan-led, rather than development-led, approach to development across Ireland. The NPF identifies the need for a strategic strengthening of Ireland’s overall urban structure, building on the recently published ESRI research paper, titled Prospects for Irish Regions and Counties: Scenarios and Implications. The paper 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/.
The finalisation of the NPF along with the 10-year Capital Investment Plan will be followed through by tasking our three Regional Assemblies to bring forward complementary Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs), linking strategic national planning and investment with regional-scale physical planning and the local economic and community development functions of local authorities.
Development of the regions will be further considered as part of the RSESs and at the local scale as part of the City and County Development Plan process and Local Economic and Community Plans, consistent with the general targeted pattern of development of the NPF.