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Tag Archives: National Planning Framework (NPF)

‘Fear factor’ is driving a rush of rural planning applications, says councillor

ALARM at the potential impact of forthcoming guidelines on development in rural areas has prompted a rush of planning applications, an East Clare councillor has said. Councillor Pat Hayes said that, after members of the local authority secured a seven-month deferral of the next County Development Plan (2022-2028), those looking to build in rural areas are keen to lodge their applications before the new and potentially more restrictive regulations come into force. At the end of June, councillors unanimously backed a motion to defer the new plan on the basis that Covid-19 had significantly disrupted the public consultation process. The move was seen as a pragmatic response, not just to the pandemic, but to national policies, of which the plan will have to take account. Several rural councillors have made no secret of their concerns that some elements of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) could do irrevocable damage to rural areas. “There …

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Negative impact downplayed after county plan deferral

THE possible negative impact of the deferral the new County Development Plan (2022-2028) for seven months has been played down by the councillor who proposed the move. Councillor Cillian Murphy, who tabled the motion to invoke a new law that takes account of the impact of Covid-19, said that the net delay will be just three months. He added that the deferral is an opportunity to final alternatives to national policies that many fear will do irrevocable damage to rural areas. Last week, the deferral secured unanimous support, with some concerns raised about the potential impact on the county town, which will see both its Local Area Plan (LAP) and Ennis 2040 strategy deferred. “Because the Forward Planning team had actually started the County Development Plan process early, what we’re looking at, in real terms, is a delay of around three months,” Councillor Murphy told The Champion. “I respect the concerns of Ennis members but I don’t believe this will …

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West Clare councillors demand clarity on population growth targets

ANGER has been expressed by West Clare councillors over national planning policies which they fear will stifle population growth. Tabling a joint motion at the recent municipal district meeting, Councillors Cillian Murphy, Ian Lynch, Shane Talty and Joe Garrihy sought details of population growth targets under the forthcoming County Development Plan. All voiced frustration at the reply, which was described as “a non-response”. “We’ve been briefed on now the new plan will have to tie in with the regional spatial strategy and so we’re now looking for clarity on the population allocation for West Clare,” Councillor Murphy said. “It’s kind of mind-boggling that any national policy would restrict any county’s ambition to develop. We are the district most likely to be affected if Ennis gets city status. That puts the development focus on the Limerick-Shannon-Ennis corridor. We have to question where we will get a chance to be ambitious for the growth of our area.” Councillor Lynch described as “a …

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Remote working drives Clare coastal property boom

DEMAND for property in coastal Clare continues to increase, to the point where the working from home phenomenon has been likened by a local businessman and public representative to a revolution. The potential for remote working created by digital technologies, and introduced out of necessity during the pandemic, is proving to be a game-changer for rural communities which up to last year had been facing the prospect of accelerating depopulation. Now, demand from city dwellers looking to relocate, as well as holiday home owners who have switched their primary residence has boosted the population of coastal communities. A property price survey conducted by The Sunday Times showed that while the median house price in Clare is down from €194,500 to €191,000, coastal property prices continue to rise. Demand for property in Kilkee and Lahinch was aid to be “insatiable” with a three-bedroom semi-detached home in the latter recently selling for €274,000, after multiple bids. “We are at a transition point,” …

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