New Draft Planning Guidelines on Spatial Planning and National Roads

The Government has introduced for public consultation, new draft Guidelines on Spatial Planning and National Roads. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure that roads planning and policy, and development planning and development management processes are appropriately and effectively aligned, in order to guide development to the most suitable locations to maximise the investment in the national roads network, while also in overall terms encouraging a shift towards more sustainable forms of travel and transport.

The guidelines will encourage a collaborative approach and early engagement, in line with international best practice, between planning authorities and the NRA with the aim of ensuring that transport and land use planning considerations are taken into account at the early stages of both development plan and development management processes. This is to ensure that future development at locations on or in the vicinity of national roads is guided to the most suitable location and that work on Ireland’s national roads network is planned for and managed in a complementary and integrated manner.

These guidelines will primarily apply to the national roads network and set out policy with regard to planning considerations relating to development affecting national roads outside the 50-kph speed limit zones for cities, towns and villages.

The new draft guidelines will replace the document, Policy and Planning Framework for Roads, published by the Department of the Environment and Local Government in 1985, supplement other policy guidance in relation to retail planning and sustainable rural housing and replace the NRA policy statement on national roads published in May 2006.

“These guidelines encourage a collaborative approach between planning authorities and the National Roads Authority with the aim of ensuring that work on our national roads network is planned for and managed in an integrated manner enabling economic development of Ireland while encouraging a shift towards more sustainable forms of travel and transport. We must ensure that development is guided to the most appropriate locations by ensuring that transport and land use planning considerations are taken into account throughout the development planning process,” says Ciaran Cuffe, TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Planning and Heritage.

The draft guidelines are available to view and download from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government’s website – www.environ.ie. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4 pm on Friday, 10 September, 2010.

The guidelines, when finalised, will be published under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and will thereby be underpinned by statute. Pending finalisation of the guidelines, local authorities are requested to have regard to the recommended approach in the draft guidelines, when preparing or varying development plans and local area plans, and in regard to applications for planning permission.

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