Its claimed amendments to the county development plan must be urgently reversed to prevent the demise of rural Clare.
It follows a special meeting of the local authority, during which this county’s Oireachtas members have pledged to take action, after the Minister of State for Planning deemed that parts of the plan were ‘inconsistent with national policy objectives’.
Last evening’s special meeting of county Councillors and Oireachtas members took place just one month after Minister of State for Planning, Kieran O’Donnell issued a final direction for Clare’s County Development plan.
The major talking point at Áras Chontae An Chláír was the order to delete the subsection of the plan, which previously enabled the construction of homes on National Secondary roads in exceptional circumstances.
This means one off houses can no longer be built on the 115km stretch of the N67, N68 and N85, unless the build is taking place in an area with a 60KM/H speed limit, or the area is deemed to be lightly trafficked.
However, with a speed limit review currently underway which would see limits on all national secondary routes reduced to 60, Meelick Fianna Fáíl Deputy , Cathal Crowe believes a stay should be put on Clare’s unsustainable clause.
Among the amendments ordered was the rezoning of twenty areas previously designated for residential use, namely in Mullagh, Liscannor, Kilrush, Broadford and Cooracalre.
The measure has since thrown applications for wastewater infrastructure pilot schemes in the latter parishes into uncertainty and a South-East Clare Councillor now believes the state is contradicting their own policies.
Clonlara Independet, Michael Begley says although many existing derelict and vacant properties in this county would be entitled to refurbishment grants, permission wouldn’t be granted for the construction of domestic sewerage facilities.
The plan took three years to craft and received over 1,4000 public submissions, however Minister O’Donnell issued a direction to override the council decision.
Clare’s Oireachtas members have now pledged to serve a deadline for the Minister to overturn the direction or the matter could face a vote in the Dáíl or Seanad chamber.
However Fine Gael Ennistymon Senator, Martin Conway is confident his party colleague will be open to change.
You can listen to the full interview below.