The new National Planning Framework will not be accepted by the public if it contains serious restrictions on the growth of Co Laois, Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming has warned.
The TD said the draft plan which has been in circulation has major restrictions on the growth of Laois. He said that if this is to be carried through in the final plan, to be issued by the Government on Friday, it will have a major impact on population, employment and the standard of living of people in Laois.
“All the talks so far is on the major cities. Growing counties like Laois may be sacrificed in favour of the cities. We will be watching this closely and it will be obvious immediately what the Government plans for County Laois will be up to the year 2040.
“The Government is also publishing it's major Capital Expenditure Programme with the National Development Plan on Friday.
“I am sure that this will contain sweeteners for all areas in the country and there will be "one for everyone in the audience". These sweeteners are to camouflage the long term agenda of the Government against future growth in areas like County Laois. People should not be fooled by these sweeteners and we all need to look at the long term plans to be published by the Government on Friday,” he said.
Under the previous National Spatial Strategy, Laois had second tier status and was not a hub town. However, this did not halt poplulation growth.
The leaked draft new plan will restrict the growth of towns such as Portlaoise.