The National Planning Framework


The Department of Housing Planning and Local Government, on behalf of the Government, has prepared and published the finalised National Planning Framework under Project Ireland 2040, the overarching policy and planning framework for the social, economic and cultural development of our country.

Further information on Project Ireland 2040 can be found at

The National Planning Framework has been published following two formal phases of public consultation, over 40 regional events and workshops, four engagements with various Oireachtas Joint Committees, feedback from an expert Advisory Group and detailed submissions from a range of stakeholders.

The National Planning Framework is now available, together with supporting information here.

Journey to The National Planning Framework (click to enlarge)
Journey to The National Planning Framework (click to enlarge)

What is the National Planning Framework?

It is a national document that will guide at a high-level strategic planning and development for the country over the next 20+ years, so that as the population grows, that growth is sustainable (in economic, social and environmental terms).

Finalisation of the NPF alongside the ten-year National Development Plan will put together one plan to guide strategic development and infrastructure investment at national level.

The NPF with the National Development Plan will also set the context for each of Ireland’s three regional assemblies to develop their Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies taking account of and co-ordinating local authority County and City Development Plans in a manner that will ensure national, regional and local plans align.

For Publications click here.
All submissions received as part of the Draft of Ireland 2040 – Our Plan can be viewed at the link below.


The National Planning Framework Vision

The vision set out under this Framework is based on a set of values that will ensure Ireland’s long term economic, environmental and social progress for all parts of our country. In framing a new way forward, the National Planning Framework draws upon lessons learned from the National Spatial Strategy and highlights a vision of success based on better choices compared to a ‘business as usual’ approach.

Objectives of the National Planning Framework

The ultimate objectives of the NPF are to:

  • Guide the future development of Ireland, taking into account a projected 1 million increase in our population, the need to create 660,000 additional jobs to achieve full employment and a need for 550,000 more homes by 2040;
  • Of the 1 million extra people,
  • 25% is planned for Dublin, recognised as our key international and global city of scale and principal economic driver,
  • 25% across the other four cities combined (Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford), enabling all four to grow their population and jobs by 50-60%, and become cities of greater scale, i.e. growing by twice as much as they did over the previous 25 years to 2016, and
  • with the remaining 50% of growth to occur in key regional centres, towns, villages and rural areas, to be determined in the forthcoming regional plans – Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs).
  • Enable people to live closer to where they work, moving away from the current unsustainable trends of increased commuting;
  • Regenerate rural Ireland by promoting environmentally sustainable growth patterns;
  • Plan for and implement a better distribution of regional growth, in terms of jobs and prosperity;
  • Transform settlements of all sizes through imaginative urban regeneration and bring life / jobs back into cities, towns and villages;
  • Co-ordinate delivery of infrastructure and services in tandem with growth, through joined-up NPF/National Investment Plan and consistent sectoral plans, which will help to manage this growth and tackle congestion and quality of life issues in Dublin and elsewhere


Strategy Map (Click to enlarge)
Strategy Map (Click to enlarge)
National Strategic Outcomes (Click to enlarge)
The analysis of the Expert Group is supported by examination of current development trends and work undertaken by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) for the NPF in projecting likely future development scenarios to 2040. (Click to enlarge)


Project Ireland 2040
National Planning Framework

February 2018

7 MB