Content and objectives of regional planning guidelines.
23.—(1) (a) The objective of regional planning guidelines shall be to provide a long-term strategic planning framework for the development of the region for which the guidelines are prepared.
(b) The planning framework referred to in paragraph (a) shall consider the future development of the region for which the guidelines are prepared for a period of not less than 12 years and not more than 20 years.
(2) The guidelines shall address, for the whole of the region to which the guidelines relate, in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development, the following matters—
(a) projected population trends and settlement and housing strategies;
(b) economic and employment trends;
(c) the location of industrial and commercial development;
(d) transportation, including public transportation;
(e) water supply and waste water-facilities;
(f) waste disposal;
(g) energy and communications networks;
(h) the provision of educational, health care, retail and other community facilities;
(i) the preservation and protection of the environment and its amenities, including the archaeological, architectural and natural heritage;
(j) such other matters as may be prescribed.
(3) (a) Regional planning guidelines shall contain information on the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the guidelines.
(b) The Minister may by regulation make further provisions in relation to the manner in which paragraph (a) may be complied with.
(4) (a) When making regional planning guidelines the regional authority shall take account of the proper planning and sustainable development of the whole of the region to which the guidelines relate, the statutory obligations of any local authority in the region and any relevant policies or objectives for the time being of the Government or of any Minister of the Government, including any national plans, policies or strategies specified by the Minister to be of relevance to the determination of strategic planning policies.
(b) When making regional planning guidelines which affect the Gaeltacht, the regional authority shall have regard to the need to protect the linguistic and cultural heritage of the Gaeltacht.
(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (2) and (3), the Minister may issue guidelines on the content of regional planning guidelines and regional authorities shall have regard to those guidelines.