A Donegal TD has blasted ‘successive’ government for years of relentless attacks on rural Ireland, accusing them of failing to protect smaller communities.
Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty urged representatives in the Dáil to throw their weight behind a motion which aims to amend existing planning permission legislation.
If enacted, the amendment will permit local authorities to grant a waste-water discharge licence to applicants wanting to build one-off rural houses where the percolation test has failed.
Speaking on Tuesday, Pearse Doherty said: “This amendment, if enacted, will have the effect of removing the unfair obstacles currently placed before many people attempting to obtain planning permission in rural areas.
“We are not talking about large property developers, speculators or individuals hoping to make a killing on housing development.
“We are talking about ordinary, genuine, hard-working people who want to build in their own communities, in accordance with the county development plan and building standards, and they are being prevented from doing so because of unforeseen consequences of current regulations.
“These are people who have grown up in rural communities and who want nothing more than to build a home in which to live and raise their families.
“The implications of the zero discharge rule has prevented people such as them from building a place to call home in rural Ireland; a problem which is particularly acute in counties found throughout the northwest and west.
“Areas which, for too long, have suffered from depopulation and decline due – in no small part – to existing rural planning laws.”
The Sinn Fein TD also said that rural Ireland had been the victim of extreme cuts over the last several years.
“Successive governments have not only failed to protect these communities from these attacks but in many instances, it was they who were responsible for them.
“In fact, this week alone, my own community in Bunbeg has been the victim of such an assault after it was announced that the village, like many others across our island, is set to lose its post office in the coming weeks.
“And they are not alone, the closure of rural post offices is happening right across Donegal.
“What we have witnessed, and what rural Ireland has been enduring at the hands of governments for years now, has effectively been death by a thousand cuts.”Tags: