2017 Press Releases
Minister Coveney addresses students on Ireland 2040 plan
Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government today (February 24) sought the views of students and planning experts on the preparation of a strategic planning and development framework for Ireland between now and 2040 at the Planning Conference, held in the Glucksman Gallery, UCC.
While in UCC, Minister Coveney participated in a student discussion, chaired by the President of UCC Students' Union, Eolann Sheehan. In encouraging the students to make their views known on the Ireland 2040 – Our Plan, the Minister told them: “You are the future. You will be shaping your family life and your views. Your ambitions and your hopes need to be reflected in a plan of this scale and this importance. What we are embarking on today is the first serious attempt to set out a planning and development strategy for Ireland in nearly 20 years, both learning and moving forward from the previous National Spatial Strategy."
The meeting with the students was followed by a meeting of key stakeholders on 'Planning for Change and Tackling Future Challenges', during which the Minister spoke and heard views and contributions on Ireland 2040 – Our Plan. The Minister told the gathering that “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 paper is the start of a major consultation process so that we can avoid the planning mistakes of the past."
Minister Coveney, who leads a high-level cross-Departmental team in developing the Ireland 2040 Plan, took the opportunity to 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.”
Full details are available on www.Ireland2040.ie and the public are invited to contribute initial views by March 16. 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.