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Planning Issues

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (324)

Eoin Ó Broin


324. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the new rural planning guidelines will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61894/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Rural Housing 2005, were issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and require planning authorities 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, while avoiding excessive urban-generated housing. The Guidelines are available on the Government’s website at the following link:

Since 2018, the National Planning Framework (NPF) is the national planning policy document providing overall strategic policy for the future development of Ireland. National Planning Objective (NPO) 19 aims to ensure that a policy distinction is made between areas experiencing significant ‘overspill’ development pressure from urban areas within the commuter catchment of cities, towns and centres of employment, on the one hand, and remoter rural areas where population levels may be low and or declining, on the other.

NPO 19 is aligned with the established planning approach as per the 2005 Guidelines, whereby considerations of social (intrinsic part of the community) or economic (persons working full or part-time) need may be applied by planning authorities in certain rural areas under urban influence in order to prevent urban sprawl.

National Policy Objective (NPO) 15 of the NPF fully supports the concept of the sustainable development of rural areas by encouraging growth and arresting decline in areas that have experienced low population growth or decline in recent decades, while simultaneously indicating the need to manage certain areas around cities and towns.

Updated Rural Housing Planning Guidelines are currently being prepared by my Department to ensure consistency with new requirements and legislation at national and EU level introduced in respect of areas related to rural housing such as environmental protection, the Gaeltacht and climate action. The new guidelines will ensure a more consistent approach between counties and alignment with NPF objectives, and will be prepared in draft in quarter one of 2022.