The Government has unveiled ‘Project Ireland: 2040’, the National Development Plan for the next 20 years, promising some exciting developments within the city in transport, health, culture and more.
At a conference in Sligo last Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced plans for Ireland’s spending and infrastructure until 2040. It attempts to plan for the extra 1 million people that are expected to live in Ireland within the next 20 years.
“Dublin is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning thanks to Project Ireland 2040. This sustainable planning for Dublin, backed by real investment, will support families and strengthen communities here,” said Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaelteacht, Josepha Madigan.
Over €116 billion is set to be spent on the capital
development plan, €5 billion of that being spent on a new Metro service and a substantial Dart extension.
There will be €3 billion spent on a revamped version of the previously planned Metro North project, which will run from Sandyford to Swords with a stop at Dublin Airport. The planned Dublin Metro line will serve DCU, Ballymun and the Mater Hospital, as well as current Luas Green line stations. Part of the Metro will run underground, before coming above ground at Charlemont in the south of the city.
The Metro North project is set to be developed alongside a major upgrade for the Dart, which will see €2 billion spent on the Dart Expansion Programme. Both projects are due to be finished before 2027.
The Luas is also set to be extended, with four
new lines being planned for Bray, Lucan, Poolbeg and Finglas, though work on these isn’t set to begin until 2027. Buses in Dublin are set to see a redevelopment as well, with all diesel-powered buses set to be phased out and replaced with electric power.
Councillors and TD’s have been critical of the plans set in place by the government, with Labour spokesman Joe Costello calling the plans ‘pie in the sky’.
“Many of the public transport plans for Dublin outlined in the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan are pie in the sky, purely aspirational and will never be implemented,” he said.
“Dublin airport will have no proper public transport to the city centre until 2027 at the earliest. Already the congestion on the Drumcondra Rd is immense and all the arteries into the city centre from the Northside are clogged with traffic. A ten- year aspirational Metro is not good enough. Clearly this Framework and Development plan has not been thought through,” Costello said.
Social housing was also a major focal point for the National Development Plan. The state have committed to providing 112,000 new social homes within the next nine years at a cost of €11.6 billion. Of all new housing built, 40% will be in cities, towns and villages, with a percentage expected for Dublin.
As well as investment in Dublin’s transport, there is set to be major investment into Dublin’s hospitals and healthcare. Within the city, funding has been set for the New Children’s Hospital at St James’ Hospital as part of the €10.9 billion set aside for health projects.
The National Materity Strategy will also see ‘standalone’ maternity hospitals combined with existing hospitals. The National Maternity hospital will assimilate with St Vincents Hospital, the Coombe will move to St James’s, and the Rotunda is set to relocate to Connolly.
There is set to be a cultural boost for the city as well, with the National Library of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, National Archives of Ireland and the Chester Beatty Gallery set to benefit from a €725 million investment in culture across the country.
A redevelopment of the Four Courts is also detailed in the FDP, as well as a replacement for the Garda offices at Harcourt Square. Dublin Port will receive a €230 million euro investment as well, to increase capacity and allow for larger vessels.