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By Chamber Press Office, 05 February 2018
Dublin Chamber has called on the Government to ignore populist scaremongering regarding the National Planning Framework and to stick with the already-ambitious growth targets set for Ireland’s regional cities and towns.
The Chamber has warned that successful regional development requires a national outlook, not a parochial one and that any attempts to constrain the growth of Dublin will put jobs and investment in all regions at risk.
Dublin Chamber said it supports the aims and broad ambitions that were laid out in the draft National Planning Framework.
The draft NPF plan is targeting over 50% population growth in each of Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway - compared to just 23% for Dublin. Dublin Chamber said the targets for the four regional cities and their suburbs are already "enormously ambitious".
According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: "Despite much unsubstantiated criticism of the NPF over recent days, critics have offered virtually no alternative proposals for enhanced regional development. The draft NPF strikes a good balance between expanding the national economy and promoting regional development. Any constraints on growth in Dublin will lead to a decline in national economic output and job losses across all regions. The role of the NPF must be to encourage wealth and job creation, through a combination of attracting further Foreign Direct Investment and by encouraging the growth and development of indigenous businesses.”
The draft NPF sets much stronger growth targets for both housing and population in the regions versus Dublin. By 2040, the draft plan estimates a 31% increase in housing units while estimates for Cork (72%), Limerick (67%), Waterford (66%) and Galway (71%) are all significantly higher.
Ms Burke said: “Since the draft NPF was published, some alarmist commentators have claimed that the plan will hurt towns with less than 10,000 people. Those myths need to be put to bed. The plan includes very ambitious targets for all regions. Any attempt to further increase targets will pose a serious risk to Ireland Inc.”
Dublin Chamber argues in the report that the over-arching aim of the final National Planning Framework must be to link population growth with infrastructure investment.
Ms Burke said: "Put simply, we need to better plan for where people are going to live and how they will get around. Ireland's track record in this regard is poor. One of the core objectives of the NPF must be to put in place limits on sprawl around our large urban centres. A focus on increased density within existing urban centres, including the development of brown field sites, will be key to preventing sprawl. Well-planned urbanisation based on high density offers the only answer to the looming threats of chronic transport congestion and the increasingly difficult environmental questions that will be asked of Ireland in the coming years."