Plan for new spatial strategy under way, says Minister

The first steps towards a new regional development plan are under way, the Minister of State for Planning has said.

Jan O’Sullivan told The Irish Times she and Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan were in the process of appointing an initial core team of between three and five people to start “posing the right questions about what a new spatial strategy should be about”.

“We are doing the initial work [on a new strategy]. We are going to appoint a small number of people and scope out what needs to be done. They will initially do the scoping. I’m not saying they will draft the plan, but they will pose the questions.”

She also confirmed a new planning regulator would be provided for in an autumn Bill.

The 2002 National Spatial Strategy, which was to run until 2022, was scrapped this year by Mr Hogan, who said it had failed. That plan, unveiled by former minister for the environment Martin Cullen, had designated 18 “gateways” and “hubs” which were to become focal points for investment and development from which national development would flow.