Review of National Spatial Strategy needed to put rural Ireland back on the map – Deering

6th August, 2014

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has today (Wednesday) stated that a review of the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) is needed, and will help to ensure increased prioritisation of rural issues at Government level.

“It is time to review the National Spatial Strategy and put rural Ireland back on the map.

“The report of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA), recommended the creation of a ministerial function for the coordination of rural economic development. I was very pleased when the Government acted upon this recommendation in the recent ministerial reshuffle, and I wish my constituency colleague Ann Phelan well in her new role as Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development.

“I commend Minister Phelan for wasting no time in bringing together the high level Inter-departmental Group (IDG) tasked with implementing the report of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas – CEDRA.

“I understand that the recommendations of CEDRA were discussed at this meeting and I now urge the Minister to take the lead on recommendation 7 of the report which deals with the need for a review of the National Spatial Strategy. CEDRA are clear in their report that the review of the NSS should include a full and comprehensive consideration of the needs of rural Ireland and its potential to further contribute to our national economic development.

“In August 2013, then Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan TD, established a successor National Spatial Strategy Scoping Group. This group was tasked with delivering a scoping report on the development of a new national planning framework to replace the existing NSS. I would encourage Minister Phelan to now set out a new timetable for proceeding with this review of the NSS.

“Regarding economic planning for Carlow, I have consistently used my position in Dáil Éireann to highlight the need for IDA visits to the county. In an answer to a recent Parliamentary Question of mine, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton confirmed that there are 7 IDA Ireland supported companies in Co. Carlow employing 735 people. He assured me that the IDA works closely with these companies to ensure their long term sustainability and to encourage their growth, development and continuing re-investment in their sites, I would like to see an increased focus on the South East region as a whole and in particular for the IDA to pay a visit to  Carlow this year.

“Bad planning going back many decades did a great disservice to rural areas across this country. We now have a real opportunity to get it right for the future and ensure that rural Ireland is leading our national economic development, and that prosperity is felt by people across all regions of the country.”