January 29, 2021

Review to Renew -Review of National Plan (NDP)

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin
Green Party Comhaontas Glas
The Tara Building
11-15 Tara Street, Dublin 2

The Secretary-General

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

By email reviewtorenew@per.gov.ie

Re. Review to Renew -Review of National Plan (NDP)

Dear Madam/Sir,

I welcome the opportunity to make my views known on the Review of the National Plan. I note that the COVID_19 Pandemic has reminded us of the State’s importance in providing strong supports for its citizens in terms of health, housing and financial supports in crises. We live in extraordinary times.

Although we have borrowed heavily, there is an opportunity to lock in further borrowings at historically low interest rates. This is an opportunity to boost our economic recovery from the pandemic while simultaneously addressing our climate commitments. My specific suggestions are as follows:

  1. Climate and Biodiversity

The climate and biodiversity crisis demands a fresh approach to tackling climate change. This requires a renewed commitment to reforming our land-use policies, and reducing transport demand. Any investment that does not serve to reduce Ireland’s Greenhouse gas emissions must be questioned.

  1. Housing

A long-standing housing crisis continues in Dublin and many of our other urban centres. The State should make a more substantial investment in public housing to ease the pressures of the housing market.

  1. Health

Sláintecare provides the prospect of greater involvement in providing quality healthcare to all. We must learn from the Pandemic and boost investment in our public health sector. We must also put in place measures to improve public health by encouraging physical fitness through encouraging walking and cycling and thus reducing car dependency.

  1. Transport and mobility

There is an opportunity to rethink our transport policies and move towards a low-carbon model. This will involve incentivising a modal shift by investing in public transport, and active travel. A closer synergy is required between transport/mobility and land-use policies.  Investment in increasing reliability and reducing journey times of public transport is desirable. The current enthusiasm for the ‘fifteen minute’ city is worth of examination as it seeks to reduce transport demand in both urban and suburban centres.

  1. Spatial Planning

A much closer synergy is required between the National Development Plan and the National Planning Framework. It is a matter of concern that one third or more of our new housing is located in rural areas, whilst relying on car commuting to our cities and towns. This reduces the quality of the public realm of our urban areas, and leads to long commuting times. We must therefore provide more quality housing in our cities and towns, and simultaneously provide more workspaces in the dormitory towns that surround our major cities.

I wish you well in your work and look forward to the outcome of this review.


Ciarán CUFFE

MEP for Dublin

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