{meta} Agenda item - Report on National Planning Framework 2040 - SPC 191017

Agenda item

Please find attached a copy of the Presentation for tomorrow’s Planning and Property Development Special SPC Meeting in the Council Chamber, City Hall, at 3.30pm.


The full draft NPF document is available at http://npf.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Ireland-2040-Our-Plan-Draft-NPF.pdf




John O’Hara

A/City Planner


Infrastructure must be provided in tandem with development.  Cities grow because of industries locating in them.  Important to link up where people live, how they get around, where the services are, where the hospitals are and educational facilities that are available there, to have joined up thinking.  There is room to move some industry outside the M50 and bringing more appropriate high intensity employment in.  Commercial rates need to be looked at.  Employment hubs are generally located within cities.


Growing Dublin, whilst also growing other parts of the country, is going to be a challenge.  It’s absolutely critical that DCC has its 10-year National Investment Plan set out to tie in with the National Planning Framework which is a statutory document.  The 10-year National Investment Plan never envisaged that Dublin’s growth would drop from 50% to 25%.  People are regularly in-migrating to Dublin, about 40k to the 80k of people emigrating.  Our vision for Dublin needs to be on a global level.  We’re not competing with our own regions.  The NPF needs to identify the opportunities of the regions.  If growth in Dublin is restricted, we won’t be able to compete with other European cities.  Developing the inner and outer areas of the city is going to be as much political as anything else.  Tall buildings don’t suit everyone or every location.  Height for height sake isn’t the answer, and tall buildings per se do not increase density.


Dublin is competing internationally with other cities and city regions, not with the other national Regions and the NPF needs to recognise this.


The City Council is concerned in relation to the lack of clarity about the preparation and implementation of the proposed Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans referenced in the document.


What does the plan mean by a ‘whole Government approach’?  The outworking of the plan must be devolved to the Regional Authorities and City/County Councils.  Leadership is central to what is needed for a city.


Broadband infrastructure is an absolutely priority.  Dublin has one of the slowest speeds in Europe so it cannot compete globally.  Broadband infrastructure is something that could level the ‘playing fields’ within the regions.  That has to be costed and funded.  A task force should be set up to ensure that we get what is laid down.


Too often in these planning frameworks physical infrastructure is promoted over social infrastructure and disadvantage.  We should flag that there should to be a 10-year investment in social advantage, which has to tie into the 10-year plan for housing, the 10-year plan to eradicate homelessness, because what isn’t helpful to a city the calibre of Dublin is short term, stop-start arrangements with every Government and each new directive.  Certainty is needed, and a long term plan provides this.  The issue of social inclusion needs to be incorporated into the NPF.


Questions were raised regarding putting Metro North as an objective but what happens if it is not developed in 10 years time.  The A/City Planner advised that Metro North is provided for in the National Plan but must be rolled out by the National Transport Authority.  The Transport Strategy provides for Metro North and enhancing public transport throughout the city is vital.  Sooner or later we are going to have to make the call to go underground.


This document replaces the National Spatial Strategy.  It’s a visionary plan but have we the tools to implement it?  Development happens more outside the city boundaries because of costs.  How are we going to make it affordable to develop in our cities?  Councils need the funding and finance to CPO sites and develop infrastructure.  Mixed use development with offices, shops and housing all together is vital for local areas.  Commercial and retail should be encouraged into any industrial development.  There should be the same restrictions on car parking space everywhere as there is in Dublin.  There needs to be a ‘buy in’ from all Government Departments.  The HSE and the Department of Education are buying up land outside of towns and building residential development for nursing homes and schools outside the town which is killing off those towns.  People in nursing homes need to be able to get out and about, and walk around the town.  The right decisions need to be made by all Government bodies.


The competitive bid process referenced in the draft NPF needs to be clarified, as the process suggests winners and losers.


The reference to moving ‘less intensive uses’ outside the M50 was raised as a potential concern for the City Council having regard to the potential for reverse community on foot of such development, to the loss of employment in the City and to the impact on sustainable land use mixes.  The NPF needs to emphasise the importance of mixed use developments.


Emphasise the importance of cycling.  There are as many people cycling in Dublin as are using the DART, the LUAS and Irish Rail combined.  Walking in the city also needs investment.  Overall investing in the attractiveness of the city through public realm.


Built heritage is really important but we also need flexibility.  Every estate should be permeable incorporating new development into existing.  The attitude of ‘no new development in our area’ needs to be challenged.


The vision of the draft NPF was raised as unclear and too lengthy.  A briefer, more succinct and understandable vision would be preferable.


Brexit needs strategic consideration.  The last plan considered the Dublin-Belfast Corridor.  We can’t go through the UK as we did before so we must think about our connections elsewhere.


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