Thursday, 20 June 2019
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines
We need to develop consistency. There can be consistent application of the rules but different circumstances arise. As I said in my opening address, we have places that are weaker rural areas where the population is stagnant or in decline and needs propping up. In contrast, those who live where I live may be subject to the risk of urban-generated pressure and that can be overwhelming at times. The county development plan and local area plans in Wicklow have always been seen to be restrictive, but that is because of the general pressure. Still, genuine local need is being met.
Ironically, many years ago when we provided rural clusters as a tier in the settlement strategy, the arrangement was deliberately restrictive so that it would be affordable for locals. The risk was that if we opened it up too much, then no local would be able to afford it. The rationale was that capital could be generated from other people who might have sold properties in other areas. This basically is the challenge ahead.