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National Planning Framework 'lacks ambition for rural Ireland'

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The Government's draft National Planning Framework has been described by the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland”.

IFA environment chairman, Thomas Cooney, said: “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in addressing the following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and to support supporting community-based renewable energy development.”

In a submission to the Government, the IFA has called for a number of measures to be implemented. 

The IFA also expressed concern at the "erroneous" introduction of the UK concept of open countryside into the draft plan.

“While voluntary schemes are developed with bodies such as Comhairle na Tuaithe and others in Ireland, there is no common law ‘right to roam’ across the countryside. Any implied or otherwise rights or entitlements should be removed from the document,” Mr Cooney said.

“Government must review the existing draft plan and achieve the rural-proofing of policy they aspire to and deliver a truly national planning framework for the next two decades which is about more than Dublin.”

Tags: IFA Thomas Cooney rural Ireland planning