Taoiseach and Minister Coveney launch public
consultation for ‘Ireland 2040 – Our Plan’

The Taoiseach and Minister Simon Coveney, today launched a major national consultation for the preparation of a strategic planning and development framework for Ireland between now and 2040, in Maynooth University. Today’s event is the first of two public consultation exercises and a series of regional and stakeholder events in preparing Ireland 2040 – Our Plan.

Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:

Ireland 2040 – Our Plan is a discussion about how to secure sustained, long-term and regionally balanced progress on social, economic and environmental fronts. Now is the time to think about the longer-term future of all parts of this island – and how to plan for that future. This is important and it is why it was included in our Programme for Government. With the return of stability there are a number of projections and challenges that are likely to be realised that we need to start planning for today. This paper is the start of a major consultation process so that we can avoid the planning mistakes of the past. Every community and every region needs to have their say.”

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney who is leading a high-level cross-departmental team in developing the Ireland 2040 Plan set out the issues its preparation will address:

“While we face many challenges presently, we know we need to think ahead for a radically different Ireland of 2040 including;

  • A national population increase of around 1 million people;
  • More than one-fifth of Ireland’s total population being over 65;
  • More than 500,000 additional people at work;
  • 500,000 homes needing locations much closer to services and amenities; and
  • rebuilding community and commercial life in the hearts of our cities and towns and protecting the many qualities of our rural communities

We are now seeking the public’s views on what the issues are and how we can – together – address sprawl and lop-sided development, better utilisation of the potential of both urban and rural areas and avoid congestion and adverse impacts on people’s lives and the environment.”

Damien English, Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal highlighted the public’s opportunity in contributing to and shaping the plan, saying:

“Ireland 2040 – Our Plan must be the people’s plan – formed by the people’s views on the future shape of our country, its urban and rural places both at this initial stage and in the publication of a further draft strategy prior to the summer, which will be subject to the consideration of the final strategy by the Oireachtas later this year. I anticipate that people will highlight the need to build up and improve existing communities, whether they be rural villages and small towns that have suffered much in recent years or the renewal and enhancement of the inner parts of many of our larger cities and towns, some of which are badly in need of regeneration and re-population which is the part of the Plan I will be focusing on.”

 

“We are now seeking the public’s views on what the issues are and how we can – together – address sprawl, lop-sided development and better utilisation of the potential of both urban and rural areas.”

 

At the conclusion of the launch, the Taoiseach and Ministers thanked the facilitator and the panel for participating in the Q&A forum. They were particularly grateful for the support of the President of Maynooth University, Professor Philip Nolan and the staff of MU.

In response, Professor Nolan said “I warmly commend An Taoiseach and Ministers Coveney and English for providing the people of Ireland with an opportunity to consider the many issues and choices that will have such a significant impact on our country over the next two decades.”

Full details are available on www.Ireland2040.ie and the public are invited to contribute initial views by March 16th 2017.

Those views will be used to shape a draft copy of the plan which is likely to issue for further consultation prior to the summer. After further incorporation of the public’s views, a final version of the plan is likely to be submitted to Government in the autumn.