The development of the new National Planning Framework (NPF) is now underway.

This new framework will be the successor to the National Spatial Strategy (NSS). It is intended that the NPF will be a high-level document that will provide the framework for future development in Ireland. It will be the overall Plan from which other, more detailed plans will take their lead, hence the title, National Planning ‘Framework’. This will include city and county development plans and regional strategies.

The Department of Housing and Planning is leading the preparation of the National Planning Framework, on behalf of Government, with input from other Departments and Agencies.  The Planning Framework will be particularly relevant where there is a long term and place-based aspect to public policy and investment.  This includes areas such as housing, jobs, transport, education, health, environment, energy and communications.

The National Planning Framework will also be a tool to assist the achievement of more balanced regional development.  In order to ensure that positive outcomes arising from national growth can be shared by people throughout Ireland, the potential of all areas will need to be realised, relative to their capacity for sustainable development.

Over the coming months there will be a series of key phases and milestones in the development of the NPF:

  • Preparation of Issues and Choices Paper
  • 1st Public Consultation: Issues and Choices Paper
  • Preparation of Draft National Planning Framework (NPF)
  • Draft NPF finalised for public display
  • 2nd Public Consultation: Draft Paper
  • Finalisation of NPF by Oireachtas. Publication of NPF & SEA/AA/SFRA

As part of this on-going process, AIRO will be working closely with the NPF team on the development of a series of evidence-based mapping tools, data visualisation aids and analysis outputs that will assist in building the new plan. The intention here is that the new plan will be firmly grounded in accurate and robust evidence from the main authoritative data providers in Ireland.

 An early output from this research programme is our new National Planning Framework mapping viewer. This viewer currently contains a series of key indicators and datasets from research work that we have carries out over the last number of years. This tool will act as a central information resource to visualise the social, economic and environmental factors that are in place across Ireland.

An important element in this new mapping tool will be the inclusion of an enhanced pop-up feature that will provide a complete overview of an indicator from the Small Area to the State and will include information for all of the relevant comparative geographies: Small Area, LEA/MD, Local Authority, Spatial Planning Area, Regional Assembly and State.

As of now the mapping tool contains the following themes:

  • Demographics (Pop Change, Age Bands, Urban Settlements, Dependency Ratios, Pop Density)
  • Economics (Economic Status, Industry of Employment, Occupation of Employment)
  • Housing (Tenure, Type, Vacancy, Facilities)
  • Education (Highest Level of Education)
  • Transport (Mode of Transport, Commuting Flows, Jobs Density)
  • Deprivation (Pobal HP Deprivation Index)
  • Environment (Key environmental assets and Natura 2000)
  • All-Island (Selection of key all-island indicators including All-Island Deprivation Index)