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Thursday 13 December 2018

Explainer: What is the 2040 Planning Framework being discussed at Cabinet today?

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: PA
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: PA Newsdesk Newsdesk

A special Cabinet meeting is being held today to discuss a the new National Planning Framework. We look at the significance of the plan - and why it has proved controversial:

What is the National Planning Framework?

The plan is considered one of the most significant plans to come before the Dáil in recent times and lays out a framework which will inform planning and infrastructure for the next 20 years.

Why do we need one?

Ireland's population is set to grow by a million people in the next 20 years and will need an extra 600,00 jobs and more than half a million extra homes. Ireland's population is also an aging one and the number of over-65s will double. The framework will lay out how Ireland will accommodate these changes in a coherent way.

Why has it come in for criticism?

The draft document has come under fire from TDs who fear it will "kill rural Ireland". The framework focuses on the growth of cities and major towns at the expense of rural development according to critics of the plan.

Members of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Labour Party, along with some Independents, have united in protest at the National Planning Framework.

Fine Gael TDs have already complained to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy that a draft version is too focused on urban areas.

Cities such as Cork, Limerick and Waterford are expected to double in size under the plan.

What is expected to happen at Cabinet today?

A revised version of the plan is due to be presented at Cabinet today, it is understood the plan has undergone a significant rewrite.

At today's meeting ministers will attempt to 'politically proof' the document.

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