‘Genuine worry’ over proposed new planning regulations

A numbers of councillors on Limerick City and County Council are expressing serious concern over ‘restrictive planning regulations’ as proposed in the new County Draft Development Plan, writes John Barrett. A submission on behalf of Cllrs Eddie Ryan, PJ Carey, Brigid Teefy, Jerome Scanlan, Emmett O’Brien, John O’Donoghue and Frankie Daly in advance of public consultation on the Draft Development Plan says that residents of rural Co.Limerick are genuinely worried about the implications of a res-trictive approach to the building of homes in the countryside. The submission adds, “This is a planning issue which is having a profound negative effect on people who want to build houses in rural Ireland. It is our duty as elected members to listen and pass this feedback directly to the persons in charge of preparing the Development Plan.
“Under the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Rural Housing 2005, authorities are required to frame the planning policies in their development plans in a balanced and measured way that ensures the housing needs of rural communities are met.
“Those guidelines do not propose a ‘ban’ on one-off rural housing and this existing strategy should follow through to the Draft Development Plan. At the time of writing, an update to the 2005 guidelines has still not been issued by the Department.
“It is a known fact that, in many villages and towns in rural Co. Limerick, we cannot build housing in settlement centres where sewage treatment is not available. Therefore, we absolutely need to be flexible and pragmatic in our approach to rural housing policies and allow people the right to build a home and live where they wish to live. This does not equate to a ‘free for all’ in planning terms but a balance should be achieved. People have the right to build their homes and raise their families in rural areas where they themselves were born; this will ensure that comm-unities remain sustainable and allow rural schools and organisations to survive.
“The emerging plan will be in place for many years, and we must work together now at this stage to ensure that it is fit for purpose and will allow all of Limerick city and county to thrive,” the submission further added.
In an appendix to the submission (as carried in full inside this week) Galbally Independent councillor Eddie Ryan raises a number of issues regarding the Limerick Development Plan 2022 – 2028.