At some 150 odd pages ‘Ireland 2040 Our Plan’ – The draft National Planning Framework – is the Government’s proposed long-term strategic planning framework will guide national, regional and local planning and investment decisions over the next 25 years.

We have decided to focus exclusively in this article on the issue of housing as set out in the framework and it makes for interesting reading. The long term vision for Ireland’s housing future aims to balance the provision of good quality housing that meets the needs of a diverse population, in a way that makes our cities, towns, villages and rural areas good places to live now and in the future.

Housing location policies will prioritise locations where people have the best opportunities to access a high standard quality of life. Housing in Ireland has often taken on a dispersed and fragmented character which has led to people living further away from their jobs and often being at a sizeable remove from important services such as education and healthcare.

Development sprawl at every settlement level in Ireland has manifested as scattered development, ‘leapfrogging’, continuous suburbs and linear patterns of strip or ribbon development. This type of development has made it costly and often unfeasible for the state to align and invest in infrastructure delivery where it cannot be justified and compounds issues such as congestion and pollution, increased commuting times and has had an overall negative impact on people’s health and well-being.

Ireland’s future homes will: be located in places that can support sustainable development – places which support growth, innovation and the efficient provision of infrastructure, are accessible to a range of local services, can encourage the use of public transport, walking and cycling, and help tackle climate change. be delivered in our cities and larger towns (where large scale housing demand exists), where homes and the appropriate supporting services can be delivered more efficiently and effectively at less cost to the State in the long-run, and still be located in our villages, towns and open countryside but at the appropriate scale that does not detract from the capacity of our larger towns and cities to deliver homes more sustainably.

For a more extensive article see our September/October 2017 Issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine available on subscription, email