NPF in tatters before launch – Costello
Speaking at a public meeting on in Liberty Hall, Joe Costello, Spokesperson on Urban Regeneration said “The Government’s National Planning Framework is already in tatters before it has even been launched.”
“A colossal €115 billion of tax payers’ money is to be spent by the Government over the next ten years on a set of proposals and projects in an accompanying Capital Development Plan that would mould the country for the foreseeable future. This is without statutory provision.
“At present there is no national spatial framework and a well-researched National Planning Framework is urgently needed.
“Dublin is bloated, sprawling into neighbouring counties while rural Ireland is stagnant and haemorrhaging its youth and members of its farming community. Employment is high but unequally distributed between town and country and unemployment blackspots are stubbornly embedded in urban areas.
“Crime, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour are widespread. Public transport is totally inadequate to meet the needs of all sectors of the community.
“Arts and culture remain elitist with no focus on community arts despite the unique national tradition of music, song, dance, poetry and prose.
“Ireland is in urgent need of a comprehensive spatial plan. It is in urgent need of urban and rural regeneration.
“Previous Framework plans have all come to nought because they were inadequately prepared and there was no broad consultation. The new plan is equally flawed. Moreover, it has already been amended by political interests within the disparate Coalition reflect local parish pump politics.
“A sustained housing and homeless crisis is already skewing the demographics of the country and the economic pressure of the dysfunctional housing market will set any national framework plan at nought.
“The Government has no coherent policy on housing. It is relying wholly on the private sector to deliver the required residential accommodation. The private sector has other priorities.
“In the absence of an effective housing policy, the other elements in the National Planning Framework will be skewed out of all recognition and he plan will be unable to progress.
“It would be foolhardy to embark on an investment programme and spend huge sums of taxpayers’ money on a national Planning Framework that lacks national confidence.
“This plan is dead in the water before it its launch tomorrow, Friday, 16 February. “