Supporting Farming

Government planning guidelines try to force people into towns/cities

NEW planning guidelines outlined by the Government over recent weeks have been described as ‘an assault on rural Ireland’ by Roscommon-Galway TD, Michael Fitzmaurice.

The new guidelines – drawn up ‘to foster sustainable development’ – could sound the death knell for rural communities across the West of Ireland, Deputy Fitzmaurice said this week.

“As a nation, we have to do all we can to preserve our heritage, traditions, and way of life – these new planning guidelines have the potential to erode the fabric of rural communities,” he said.

According to Deputy Fitzmaurice the guidelines suggest prioritising housing developments at the edges of rural town and villages – connected to existing walking and cycling networks – as a preferable alternative to isolated countryside homes.

He said that Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, claimed that the guidelines were designed ‘to enhance accessibility to services and community amenities while ensuring that rural housing developed at a pace in line with the availability of local infrastructure’.

However, Deputy Fitzmaurice – who has now joined the new party Independent Ireland – said if these polices were implemented they could herald the end of traditional rural communities.

He said that the three Government parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens – were showing complete disregard for the impact that these planning guidelines would have on rural communities all across the country.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said that the planning guidelines as outlined, could be a violation of property rights for people living in rural Ireland as he called for a ‘complete rethink’ on proposals.

Pictured: Michael Fitzmaurice: Planning policies are an assault on rural Ireland.       

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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