New rural housing guidelines
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government when new rural housing guidelines will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Following engagement between the European Commission and my Department regarding the European Court of Justice ruling in the "Flemish Decree" case, a working group was established to review and, where necessary, recommend changes to the 2005 Planning Guidelines on Sustainable Rural Housing, issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. The working group comprises senior officials from the Planning Division of my Department and senior officials from the Planning Divisions of local authorities, nominated by the local government sector.
Taking account of the engagement with the European Commission regarding revisions to the 2005 Rural Housing Guidelines and subject to the completion of the ongoing deliberations by the working group, I will be in a position to finalise and issue to planning authorities revisions to the 2005 Guidelines that take account of the relevant European Court of Justice judgment.
19/8/2020 08:38:07 pm
I would ask the Minister to deal with this outstanding matter as a matter of urgency. This group (have no lay members to the best of my knowledge) who are deliberating on this matter since 2017 and have met, I think the record shows, on five occasions, are away too slow. Consultants such as ABBD, are dealing at the coal-face with Planning Authorities on a daily basis with planning applications for Rural applicants in rural areas, which are continually for spurious reasons, being refused. Planning Authorities are hiding behind the shield of the 2005 Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines and other National Planning Policies which are non-specific, and merely aspirational. These policies need to be discussed and scrutinised in a public forum and then should very specific, no grey areas, or open to individual interpretation by individual planners. I have great respect for you personally and I know you will engage on these matters outside your Dept. and Local Authotities.
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