Irish Planning Institute Welcome Town & Village Renewal Scheme But Focus Must Be on Results Posted on September 23, 2015June 26, 2021 by Irish Planning InstituteThe Irish Planning Institute (IPI) has welcomed the €30m Village and Town Renewal Scheme to be announced this morning, seeing it as another positive measure to address some of the impact of the economic downturn more acutely felt in rural towns and villages.According to Irish Planning Institute Mary Hughes Planners will cautiously await further detail of the scheme and how the £30m fund will be managed over the next few years. In the absence of an overall National Planning Framework to guide and co-ordinate where development should occur in the future throughout the country, the fund must be appropriately distributed to achieve maximum effect. Implementing the fund via local authorities is welcomed, and the use of local knowledge to revitalise towns is necessary. However there is a risk that political expediency risks spreading the funding too thinly rather than prioritising it leading to a ‘scatter-gun’ effect.Hughes concluded A strategic plan for the implementation of the scheme must be required of all local authorities to bid for funding. This plan must be prepared through consultation with all sectors of the community to ensure local ownership of all projects. Towns and villages must build on existing local character and local distinctiveness to achieve maximum effect and must integrate with other existing initiatives such as the Tidy Towns Programme.