The scare mongering by some opposition politicians in claiming that the National Planning Framework (NPF) will limit population in counties and towns is needlessly causing concern among communities.
The Plan sets ambitious targets for growth, not population caps. There are no caps on the future population of any county or town specified in the NPF. The Plan sets the parameters for future planning in Ireland and has set growth targets never achieved before so if the Plan is successful every part of our country will grow.
In dealing with the issue of rural housing the situation remains that in certain areas of the country where there is development pressure an applicant must show that they are either socially connected to the local community or are actively involved in economic activity in the rural area.
The inclusion of social in the criteria is something which I, and others, pressed for given the importance of supporting and maintaining vibrant rural communities. This requirement is not changed while in many areas not under development pressure or a designated landscape, there is no need to show connections to the area and as long as a house is well designed and well sited there should be no issue with building a home there.
Spreading fear and negativity about a plan which has ambitious plans for every city, town, village and rural community in the country is a disappointing reaction which bears no reflection of the Plan’s intentions.