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Unread 28-04-2006, 11:47   #1
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Default [ARTICLE] ‘Radical planning solutions’ needed to cope with growth

‘Radical planning solutions’ needed to cope with growth

By Ed Carty

THE Government’s National Spatial Strategy is out of date and needs to be redrawn to cope with the country’s rapid population growth over the next decade, a top planner said yesterday.

Henk van der Kamp, Irish Planning Institute president, called for new developments to be spread around rather than concentrating solely on greater Dublin.

He told the institute’s conference in Sligo: “We need to review the National Spatial Strategy to consider the real possibility that Ireland may return to a population of 7.25 million.”

Adding that Ireland was not ready for such growth, he said: “A key message is emerging that the National Spatial Strategy is out of date. If the growth anticipation is correct we need to be prepared for a more radical change in the Irish scale and pattern of development than we are used to from the past and we need to be prepared for more radical planning solutions.”

Mr van der Kamp said steps had to be taken to deal with the pressures of rapid economic development and insisted one-off rural housing should be stopped.

He claimed residential, industrial, infrastructural and other development necessary to accommodate a bigger population should be spread in planned development throughout the country.

“Our villages are an underused and unappreciated resource ... These provide the essential social and commercial nucleus that we need to develop balanced communities.”

The reasons he outlined for a new strategy included: that the projection of 5.3m people by 2020 underlines the fact that the projections on which the NSS is based are too low, and Government policy announced since the NSS was published such as decentralisation and rural housing
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