Concerns at viability of national development €116bn plan

A prominent developer has voiced concerns over the “viability” of the €116bn national development plan, saying “checks and balances” were needed for it to succeed.

Concerns at viability of national development €116bn plan

By Pádraig Hoare

A prominent developer has voiced concerns over the “viability” of the €116bn national development plan, saying “checks and balances” were needed for it to succeed.

Michael O’Flynn said that unless there were complementary business strategies to go alongside the plan, it could fall by the wayside like former national planning strategies.

Speaking at the ‘Future of Cork’ event, Mr O’Flynn said: “How will the plan be implemented?

“The previous spatial strategy didn’t succeed. Implementation strategy and business plan strategy is vital to go with any announcement.

“This has tended not to happen in the past. There is a thing called viability. I am really concerned about how it is going to be checked and balanced as we go by,” said Mr O’Flynn.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Mr O’Flynn’s concerns were “very fair” but that a new state development company which will work with local authorities would be an “oversight entity”.

Mr Coveney said he expected the skills shortage in construction would lead to a surge of Irish tradespeople in countries like New Zealand coming home, along with immigrants from the likes of Latvia and Poland.

He said the current numbers in construction and trades were “not sufficient” for the national development plan, and that an emphasis would be put on attracting young people back to the industry.

Mr Coveney denied the €116bn plan was “an election pitch”, saying it had involved the submissions of all parties and various bodies across the country.

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