Last Wednesday night Cllr. Pat Kennedy, Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv and Deputy Pat Casey addressed a meeting in Ballinaclash in relation to the new draft National Planning Framework and its implications for rural people.
Cllr. Pat Kennedy said “rural Ireland as we know it will change forever if the draft National Planning Framework is adopted in its current format. To think that rural people will no longer be able to live in rural areas is just unbelievable. If the draft is adopted, it will stipulate that rural people must demonstrate an economic need to live in a rural area. Under current regulations people can show an economic or a social need to live in a rural area. The removal of the word social will block rural people from getting planning altogether. As a rural councillor working on planning applications it is most difficult to try and secure planning at the present time. It will be impossible if the new planning framework is adopted. The framework must not put in place a regime that penalises local rural residents with a clear social link to a locality.”
Speaking on the night, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Regional Development, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, said that “rural Ireland will become a tourist destination only.”
Also speaking on the night, Pat Casey TD, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing and Urban Renewal said that “it is another nail in the coffin for rural Ireland”.
Cllr. Kennedy added, as the meeting finished, that rural people may have to take this issue to the streets if necessary.