Concerns over rural planning and its impact

Concerns over rural planning and its impact

13 October 2021

A LOCAL politician has urged Stormont infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon to “immediately withdraw guidance” recently issued to local councils in relation to future countryside planning.

Slieve Croob councillor Cathy Mason said that in addition to withdrawing the guidance, the Stormont minister must also “meaningfully engage” with local authorities about the concerns of people in rural communities on its potential impact.

She said while councils only recently received new guidance from the Department for Infrastructure regarding rural planning, concerns about the move have already been raised.

“There are concerns that the new guidance could make it even more difficult for people to get planning permission to build in the countryside,” explained Cllr Mason, who confirmed that Sinn Féin has called on Mrs Mallon to withdraw the guidance.

“People who want to live in the local communities in which they have grown up are already finding it very difficult to get planning approval for houses,” she continued.

“The planning system must be sustainable, however, this new guidance is causing real concerns, particularly for younger people and families, in rural communities. It is vital that the planning system works for our rural communities.”