“€125m boost to regeneration and development a huge positive for sustainable planning of growth and opportunity”
- Strong response to investment funds shows appetite for good planning
- Spread of investments across the country warmly welcomed
“Actions speak louder than words. Planners are pleased to note the strategic selection of projects now being funded by government as cornerstones and enablers of targeted social and economic growth as envisaged in Ireland 2040” said Mr. Joe Corr, President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), the professional body representing planners in Ireland. Mr. Corr was speaking in response to the announcements today (Monday, 26 November 2018) and last week of almost €125m of investments in over 100 projects under both the Rural and the Urban Regeneration and Development Funds.
Mr Corr noted that the varied projects announced are focused on infrastructural improvement and economic development in the first instance with an emphasis on access, heritage, tourism and regeneration. The two funds are part of the overall €4 billion commitment to investment and capital spending in Ireland over the next 10 years under Project Ireland 2040.
“In their work as ‘plan makers’ professional planners, in both public and private sector roles, are acutely aware of the need for investment by government to kickstart development in a strategic way. It is critical to open out opportunities to develop communities and to create a basis for sustainable economic activity that will underpin those communities. It is not just about following where existing development has growth needs. The bigger priority is to anticipate need and invest to open out new possibilities. In that context, we are very pleased to see the wide range of funding support for critical projects throughout the country.
Mr. Corr noted the strong appetite to engage with the funding schemes on the part of public bodies and agencies throughout the country, with almost 500 applications in total.
Mr Corr continued, “while the level of development activity in society is on the rise again, making busy times for planners, it is very encouraging to see such a focus in future planning which these funds enable. It is particularly encouraging to see the volume of strong projects in the midlands and along the western seaboard from Clare, north through Galway, Mayo and Sligo to Donegal, reflecting the desire of planners in those regions to be catalysts for change and investment.”
“We are very pleased to see recognition for schemes that have been identified as exemplars of excellent . Earlier this year for example the work of Monaghan Co. Council was formally recognised in the Irish Planning Awards. Similar excellent projects in Limerick, Fingal and Louth have been allocated funding.
Mr. Corr concluded “When they were announced, there was a lot of curiosity as to how these funds would work. In less than six months, it is impressive and reassuring to see over 100 projects of substance that will create benefit and value for hundreds of thousands of citizens get a green light for action in 2019. We congratulate those Local Authorities and their professional teams on the work that has made this happen. These announcements are very positive steps towards better planned development in the future as envisaged in Ireland 2040 and while there are genuine concerns to be addressed to ensure that the commitment to effective planning remains central to the investment planned, we congratulate government on the intent and the work of getting to today”