Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy 2020-2032 (RSES)
The RSES provides the roadmap for effective regional development – it delivered a combination of response, design and innovation; in how we do business, deliver homes, build communities and value land-use – creating healthy places and promoting sustainable communities. The RSES introduces the concept of a Growth Framework to achieve this integration because regional growth cannot be achieved in linear steps.
Now, more than ever, we need effective regional planning. Not just from a spatial or socio-economic perspective but also through the lens of population health. The Covid-19 pandemic reminds us of this and demonstrates the intricacy and inter-connectivity of our ecosystem. It is not only about how we adapt to global economic challenges and climate change, but also how we seize on the new dynamic. Our RSES is built on the strategic assumption that sustainability will be the future differential; a new ingredient in ‘Place’ success. Sustainability will drive decision making around housing, jobs, investment and the movement of people.
The RSES Growth Framework provides a clear sustainable strategy for compact growth and delivering those key elements known to inform business location choices. It identifies a pathway through the inclusion of a Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP) for Galway, tailored Regional Growth Centre Strategic Plans for Sligo, Athlone and Letterkenny (incorporating the strategic cross-border partnership with Derry-Strabane) and the identification of priority actions for Key Towns and places. This region is also defined by its strong connection to our rural areas and rural economies. The RSES provides for the careful management and encouragement of development within rural areas, to ensure that they remain and grow as vibrant communities.
This RSES provides a high-level development framework for the Northern and Western Region that supports the implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the relevant economic policies and objectives of Government. It provides a 12-year strategy to deliver the transformational change that is necessary to achieve the objectives and vision of the Regional Assembly. It has been published in collaboration with all our stakeholders and we are grateful for their contribution. Complementary Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies has also been developed by the Southern Regional Assembly and the Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government published the National Planning Framework (NPF) and National Development Plan (NDP) in 2018. It is the spatial expression of Government Policy up until 2040. The three Regional Assemblies played an active role in the development of the NPF which provides the framework for this RSES. Click for more information on the NPF.
RSES Implementation Advisory Group
The inaugural meeting of the RSES Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) was held on 25th November 2020 . Listen to a presentation by Alison Hunter on the importance of Smart Specialisation. Read more here.
The following documents are mentioned in the RSES and were used to form policies within the RSES
Preparatory work on the RSES commenced in 2017 with the publication of the issues paper for pre-draft consultations later the year. Stakeholder workshops were held on 16th, 18th, 23rd and 25th January 2018 for stakeholders and officials of the 9 Local Authorities. predraft consultation closed on 26th January 2018.
The director’s report on the pre-draft submissions was published in March 2018.
The draft RSES was published on 18th November 2019 and consisted of the main document, Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) along with 2 chapters of the Socio-Economic Baseline Report. The public consultation closed on 9th February 2019. Over 1000 submissions were received. The submissions received were considered by the Assembly at its April meeting (26/04/19) and decided to propose Material Amendments to the Draft, they also determined that SEA and AA were required in relation to the proposed Material Amendments.
The Assembly further decided on 26/07/19 to publish the Material Amendments and the SEA and AA carried out for them. The consultation period was from 4th August 2019 until 11th October 2019, (dates inclusive).
The submissions received, the Director’s Reports and environmental assessments were considered by the Assembly at its meeting in December and the RSES was made by the Assembly at its meeting on 24th January 2020.
Before the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy, the main policy documents for the Border and Western areas were the regional planning guidelines.