Wednesday, 28 February 2018
The national development plan emphasises the amenity value of the natural built heritage. It is a €285 million investment plan. I have mentioned the national parks and nature reserves and how we need to be in a position to cope with the number of new visitors with better infrastructure. We want to help our invaluable natural assets and have hubs for outdoor activities and to promote tourism.
On the built heritage, to which the Deputy referred, it is the historical core of cities, towns and villages. We must protect and try to regenerate it, where possible. We must also protect castles, forts and mounds. The inland waterways are not just an engineering marvel but also an amenity within the national tourism offering. I intend to ramp up investment into the future, including in the restoration of the Ulster Canal. The plan also provides for implementation of national guidelines for the protection of our unique landscapes. We will be able to implement the national biodiversity plan into the future.